Supreme Court Throws Out Suit Against Finance Minister

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the $2.25 billion bond suit against Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, saying it was without merit.

The seven-member panel, presided over by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, unanimously dismissed the claims of a group by name Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG).

The Supreme Court said the reasons for the dismissal of the suit would be filed by tomorrow, May 6, at the Court’s Registry.

The DYMOG had sued the Minister over an alleged procedural error and conflict of interest over the $2.25 billion bond issuance alongside with the Attorney General and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

The group, in its suit, was invoking the proper jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution, which 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 contended that the Finance Minister, in issuing the bond to Franklin Templeton, had put himself in a conflict of interest situation because one of the directors of the US-based investment group, Trevor Trefgarne, was also a director of a company owned by the Minister.

Meanwhile the Minister had earlier been cleared by CHRAJ of the conflict of interest allegation.

Among the reliefs the Movement was seeking included; (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 CHRAJ has contravened Article 287 of the 1992 Constitution.

And (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 CHRAJ Report) the 2nd Defendant (CHRAJ) has contravened Article 130(1)(a) of the 1992 Constitution.

The group was also seeking 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.