The Supreme Court has adjourned the case in which the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, has been sued over the $2.25 billion Eurobond issue.
The adjournment by the Supreme Court follows procedural errors by lawyers of the plaintiffs, Dynamic Youth Organisation of Ghana (DYMOG), who failed to comply with rules on filing memorandum of issues.
The Court, at its previous sitting, ordered all parties in the case to file a joint memorandum of issues, but the lawyers for the Plaintiffs failed to do so. Instead, they filed separate issues for adjudication without the consent of the Defendants.
The lawyers for the Plaintiff, in an interview with Ghanajustice.com indicated that “We wrote to all the parties and attached a copy of our proposed Memorandum of Issues but the parties didn’t respond. If a joint Memorandum of Issues doesn’t work, applicants can file for separate Memorandum of Issues. But the court prefers Joint Memorandum of Issues which is that all parties must agree to the issues and have all the counsel sign. We have therefore withdrawn our Memorandum of Issues and will sit with the parties and discuss”
The DYMOG in January sued the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, the Attorney General and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over the $2.25 billion bond issue.
The group in its suit is invoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret Article 284 of the 1992 constitution.
The article states: “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office.”
The applicants contend the Finance Minister, in issuing the bond to Franklin Templeton, has put himself in a conflict of interest situation because one of the Directors of the US-based investment group, Trevor Trefgarne, is also a Director of a company owned by Ghana’s Finance Minister.
Even though the Finance Minister has been cleared by the CHRAJ of the conflict of interest allegations, the pressure group maintains Ken Ofori Atta has questions to answer.
The reliefs they are seeking include;
(a) A declaration that by going beyond investigations to make a pronouncement (of guilty or otherwise) on the 1st Defendant in respect of the allegation of breach of conflict of interest, the 2nd Defendant has contravened Article 287 of the 1992 Constitution.
(b)A declaration that by interpreting Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution (as disclosed between paragraph 3 of page 127 and paragraph 3 of page 133 of the Report) the 2nd Defendant has contravened Article 130(1)(a) of the 1992 Constitution.
(c)A declaration that by issuing or overseeing the issuance of the said bonds to Templeton without disclosing his relational interest with a director at Templeton, one Trevor G. Trefgarne, the 1st Defendant has acted in contravention of Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution.
(d)A declaration that by issuing or overseeing the issuance of the said bonds without disclosing his interests in the securities industries in general, the 1st Defendant has acted in contravention of Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution.
The case has been adjourned until further notice.