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Opinions of Thursday, 12 December 2013

Columnist: AFAG

Mahama & family create, loot & share

Ladies & gentlemen of the press, Good morning!
The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) is much worried about the sudden crave for public assets by the president and his family. We are sadden by the absolute use of power, giving way to the gargantuan indulgence of his family in what looks like, a well-orchestrated attempt by the Mahama’s to enrich themselves once more, by acquiring a well treasured asset of the people of Ghana.
Mr. President, AFAG in 2012 waged a campaigned against the sale of merchant bank to Rand bank of South Africa ostensibly because of Ibrahim mahama’s indebtedness. Indeed;
• It was unclear why the then MD of Merchant Bank granted such a loan unilaterally in excess of what his office was permitted.
• Additionally, AFAG wanted to ascertain the truth or otherwise on whether the President benefited from this loan prior the 2008 elections and hence the inability for the Merchant bank to honor the Bank of Ghana’s 60 million re-capitalization deposit means it must be sold.
• AFAG wondered the role of the then MD, Blaise Mankwa, in the office of President Mahama when he was a VEEP.
Mr. President, if AFAG knew your lawyer (Tony Lithur), who doubles up to be the lawyer for Engineers & Planners (your brother’s firm) and Fortiz equity fund limited will be submitting a petition to you, that would have resulted in your office intervening in this high level corruption, we would have endorsed the previous sale of Merchant bank to First Rand bank.
THE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
• Mr. President, why did your brother stop paying back his loan right after the 2008 victory of the NDC
• Mr. President, did you appoint the then MD who single handedly approved of a loan beyond the limit of his office to Ibrahim Mahama in your office, then as a VEEP?
• Mr. President, did your action restrain the Merchant Bank board in the interest of your brother Ibrahim Mahama towards the current sale to Fortiz?
• Mr. President are you not worried at all that, your lawyer, Tony Lithur, is the lawyer for E&P and also Fortiz, the ghost company buying a very treasured asset of the people of Ghana?
• Mr. President, First Rand Bank is the 2nd largest bank in South Africa. Fortiz is a ghost company without any working history in Ghana.
• Mr. President, First Rand bank through the Rand Merchant Bank has over 600 million investment in Ghanaian infrastructure and 1.6 billion USD in Nigeria, what of Fortiz the ghost bank?
• Mr. President First Rand Bank has over 100 years banking history in South Africa, what of the ghost company Fortiz which was formed in June 2013.
• Mr. President, First Rand Bank proposed to acquire 75% shares in Merchant Bank at 91 million USD. Fortiz, the ghost company with a stated capital of 2 million USD proposed 41 million USD for 90% shares.
TUC
The TUC is well represented by four persons on the board of SSNIT. It’s representatives Mr.Kofi Asamoah(Secretary General), Mr. Robertson Allotey, Mr.Dian Okine and Mr. Amo Dako have gone in to do business as usual. AFAG never heard of TUC’s position on this sale. It is worrying that, men in trust get easily compromised. The TUC of yester years is never the same. No wonder workers go on pension to become poor and abandoned. A lot of assets of workers have been sold by SSNIT under this corrupt NDC regime. What is most worrying is the sale of TRUST hospital which currently rejects NHIS because it has been privatized. How sad is it to see worker’s representatives’ look on to the continual marginalization of worker interest.
The TUC must simply get men who have the interest of workers at heart. This should be so because their current leadership are just businessmen on the job and very greedy. Once they are made comfortable, they careless about the rest. What a shame!
TONY LITHUR
AFAG finds this gentleman an absolute disgrace to the legal profession. This is based on the complete devaluation of his moral conscience. One should not be a lawyer to see to the open conflict of interest surrounding this much compromised lawyer. How on earth can you be the lawyer to the President, his brother Ibrahim Mahama, the ghost company Fortiz, and at the same time not seeing anything wrong with submitting a petition to the President asking him to wave Ibrahim Mahama’s debt to Merchant bank. This wicked act against the people of Ghana by Tony Lithur will never escape the vengeance by the people at the right time.
AFAG POSITION
Mr. President you are trivializing the politics of this country. Obviously, you are salving the conscience of your family to get rich and powerful, while you conceal the poor plight of the ordinary Ghanaian. AFAG is not against venture capitalism, however, we are opposed to the clandestine attempts by you, your family and cronies to amass wealth at the expense of the common weal.

Mr. President the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz is untenable. We advise you and your family men to stay away from public goods. One must get rich and powerful, but it is AFAG’s belief that, this must not be at the expense of equitable distribution of state resources.

CONCLUSION
• Immediately Mr. President, we demand a halt to any further deliberations over the sale of Merchant Bank Ghana Ltd to Fortiz equity fund ltd.
• Mr. President, we want you to relieve Mr. Ernest Thompson and Dr. Henry Wampah from the positions of chief executive officer;SSNIT and Governorship of Bank of Ghana respectively.
• AFAG call on the General Legal Council to put Tony Lithur to order.
• Mr. President, what we need now is a public enquiry into the sale of Merchant Bank

God save Ghana

Signed
Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie
Davis Opoku Ansah
Henry Haruna Asante
Hon. James Apeatu Ankrah
Williams Agyei