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General News of Wednesday, 5 September 2018


Directors exclusion from Parliament's bank probe questioned

Parliament's decision to spare directors of seven collapsed banks from its probe has been criticised as likely to produce shoddy work.

Law lecturer Kofi Abotsi wondered how Parliament can come out with "full and complete" findings "if they are not going to speak to the real actors."

Chairman of the Finance Committee tasked to hold hearings into the bank crisis has said he does not find any basis to invite the directors.

"On what basis…on media accounts or what," Dr Asibey Yeboah told Joy FM Wednesday.

The Bank of Ghana will be invited for closing down the banks, and Finance ministry officials are also to appear for creating the Consolidated banks that has taken over the five failed banks.

Auditing firms KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers will also be invited after their work in investigating the affected banks.

All these institutions will be queried to get "first-hand information," he said. But no Director will appear.

Kofi Abotsi who teaches at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) said the position of Parliament is "quite difficult to understand."

He said Parliament will lose another golden opportunity to improve its already low public support. Parliament, he said, will confirm once again that it is only in theory the very powerful arm of government.

The law lecturer said public confidence in the financial sector has been lowered following the crisis.

Ghanaians are therefore looking for an institution that can help dispel suspicions and allegations flying around the affected banks and its officials, he explained.

Parliament is one such institution of the people that can do this work effectively, he pointed out and said there is "very little justification" to exclude directors.

He conceded that Parliament is a master of its internal processes but their position of the bank crisis is not likely to generate support.

Kofi Abotsi also questioned the decision to make the probe in-camera. He said a private hearing is understandable on matters like national security.

The bank crisis is not one of them, he noted.

Some sections of social media have ridiculed the plan to hold in-camera hearing and the exclusion of the directors.