Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central has petitioned the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to look into attempts by the Finance Minister through his agents at the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell the state’s shares in rescued banks to suspicious third parties.

In his petition, Mr. Mahama Ayariga called for a probe into the activities of the Board Chairman and CEO of GAT, Albert Essien and Eric Otoo respectively.

He alleges that these two individuals “are coordinating with the Ministry of Finance and Second Deputy Governor of BoG to implement the questionable transaction.”

Mr. Ayariga stated that information gathered shows that GAT has submitted a prospectus to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for approval to enable it sell off its shares in these banks to some private individuals whose identity calls for some investigation.

“The Minister of Finance through GAT is currently using GAT’s position as shareholder in these banks to questionably offload GAT’s investments to individuals in an obvious scheme to pass on value in an undeserving way to those individuals.

“This conduct of GAT is completely unacceptable as GAT invested in these banks by purchasing its shares at a discounted rate from its existing shareholders. GAT cannot therefore be seen within only two (2) years after its equity investment in the banks to be taking steps to sell off its shares to these individuals who must be investigated,” he revealed.

He also called for a look into GAT’s appointment of political directors who are representatives of Government.

The Bawku Central MP insists this is “problematic” since this mode of operation by GAT “gives room for political agents to disturb and politicize operations of these banks which the Bank of Ghana had already identified to be well governed and well managed.”

According to the MP, should BoG fail to intervene, it will be held as an accomplice and be in grave liability if the transaction is ultimately proven to be fraudulent.

Despite the caution, he issued the Bank of Ghana with a five day ultimatum to halt the sale or face legal action and a parliamentary probe.

“It is therefore our hope that the above concerns will be thoroughly investigated by BoG. We believe that the cease and desist letter to GAT Chairman and the CEO will be complied with to preserve sanity in the Banking Sector. If they refuse to heed this advice to stop the fraudulent IPO, we will certainly cause a thorough parliamentary inquiry and investigation into this whole saga.

“In the meantime, we will have no other option than to take legal action against the BoG, SEC and GAT in this matter for their various roles in this questionable transaction.

“We await your response and action within 5 days from receipt of this letter. We will not hesitate to take further actions in the best interest of the Tax Payer and Ghanaians in general should your Office fail or neglect to cause an investigation into the matters raised,” he concluded.

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