Opinion: Financial sector shake up and my questions for Mr Ofori-Atta

Opinion: Financial sector shake up and my questions for Mr Ofori-Atta
Source: Kwabena Mireku
Date: 24-01-2020 Time: 05:01:02:pm
Ken Ofori-Atta is Finance Minister

Ken Ofori-Atta (KOA) is the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. He has told a global audience that he was nearly aborted as his father did not want the pregnancy. His father, Jones Ofori-Atta was the Deputy Minister of Finance in the Busia administration (1969-1972).

KOA is one of the founders of Databank, an investment management company in Ghana. The original founders of the company in 1990 included James Akpo, now Togbe Afede XIV. Due to disagreements over policy and business direction, Mr Akpo left Databank to start his own company, Strategic African Securities (SAS). 

For a long time, there were only four brokerage firms in Ghana - NTHC owned by the government, Databank (owned by KOA and Kelli Gadzekpo) SAS and Gold Coast Securities (owned by Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom).

But the interesting questions that have come up about Databank is how it acquired Trust Bank Gambia, become a shareholder in International Bank in Liberia and Enterprise Group. How did KOA and his Databank get to do so much with so little from a small Ghanaian capital market?

While the soft-spoken Minister of Finance is playing an important role in the current government’s push to check financial sector indiscipline, some have asked if Databank’s ePACK product operated with a valid licence when it was launched.

The Obotan Project presents a viable avenue to ask even more questions about KOA and hopefully get answers.

The Obotan Project was a proposed construction of a gated community on the Independence Avenue in Accra, hatched in 1998.

The project was devised by a group of investors and promoters, including KOA, and sought financial backing from other investors, including SSNIT, but could not take off due to some setbacks.

I do not wish to get into the murky and (sometimes) confusing details of the project. But I want to ask: is it true that auditors of the project recommended that Messrs. Databank Financial Services, Enterprise Insurance Company (EIC), and Awoonor Law Consultancy be prosecuted for an alleged false presentation of information? Is it also true, as I have read from media reports, that the auditors of the botched project recommended the prosecution of Messrs. Databank Financial Services, Enterprise Insurance Company (EIC), and Awoonor Law Consultancy for allegedly enticing SSNIT to release money for Obotan Developers Company at a time the company did not exist? I just need answers!

So how has KOA risen above all these allegations about his business operations? And in that vein, is it true that it was the late President Fiifi Atta-Mills who rescued KOA from criminal prosecution after the 2008 election over some these problems? I don’t know, I just need answers!

It amazes me how one calm man can have so many vile allegations made against him by so many people. For instance, it is true, as some have alleged, that Databank was handed some specific funds held in Frontline Capital shortly after its licence was revoked? I don’t know I just need answers.

I bring my questions to an end, but is it true that in Cape Coast Databank has now set up shop at a former UT Bank branch office? I sincerely don’t know I ask because I need answers.

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 Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the author and does not reflect the views of Myjoyonline.com. The author, Kwabena Mireku can be reached on 0541125621.