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General News of Friday, 17 August 2018


Banking rot: Governance think tank opposes Parliament’s in-camera probe

Objection to Parliament’s intention to probe the banking sector scandals in-camera is intensifying as governance think tank, African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), wades in.

Executive Director of ACEPA, Chief Rasheed Draman, has said the matter is of public interest and should be made open to remove doubts about the strength of the banking sector following the scandals.

Calls for a probe into the consolidation of some banks went viral after an investigative report revealed that monies given to some banks by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) were channelled to other sources which eventually led to their collapse.

Ranking Member of Parliament’s Select Committee on Finance, Casiel Ato Forson, has indicated on Adom FM’s Current Affairs show, Burning Issues, that the Legislature will invite all stakeholders in the banking ruckus to find out whether their failure was as a result of individual recklessness or otherwise.

Mr. Forson stated that “even though the Committee is constituted by politicians, it is going to be apolitical because Ghanaians need this kind of probe”.

He adds that if it becomes prudent that the shareholders or the directors of the banks be invited, they will invite them to come and respond to issues.

The Minority Spokesperson on finance issues says he is confident of the composition of the Committee ensure the scandal is properly probed due to the rich and experience of members.

The former Deputy Finance Minister said the Committee will have a three-day eight-hour sitting between the 5th and 10th of September 2018 and indicated that all the stakeholders would be involved to establish the cause collapse.

“We will invite Bank of Ghana, the Finance Ministry, those that the Bank of Ghana has appointed to look into the issue, the Receivers and the Administrators of these banks which are KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Builders and any other agency that were engaged to do the work on their behalf”

“We will find out whether it is the actions or inactions of some individuals or their recklessness that caused the collapsed of the banks or other factors that are external or indigenous shocks that we can control in the future.”

“In fact, we decided to go in-camera but not a public hearing because money does not tolerate noise,” the Ejumako Enyan Essiam MP said.

However, Chief Draman has indicated in an interview with Adom News’ Felix Anim-Appau that the credibility of Parliament is in doubt pending the outcomes of some investigation undertaken by some committees of the House.

“In order to ward off any perception that someone is trying to protect someone or any suspicion or perception that there are some people in this country that are above the law as far as this matter is concerned, it is important in the interest of Parliament itself to make this hearing public,” he said.

He said when members of the public observe the hearing directly and make judgments for themselves, it would be better than telling Ghanaians a second version of what proceeded at the query.

Chief Draman reiterated that everyone is equal before the law and irrespective of one’s social status, the law must be applied evenly or else, it would be a disaster for Ghana.

“Whether it is a religious person, whether it is a politician, I think we have seen instances in other countries where even bishops have been handcuffed and locked up, sitting politicians have been locked up in the interest of the public so some real actions must take place, some heads must roll otherwise, we are doomed," he stated.