The Majority Leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has said if the New Patriotic Party’s presidential running mate, Dr. Mahamoud Bawumia is certain about his claims of impropriety in the government’s decision to deposit some $250 million at the United Bank of Africa (UBA), he should petition the house through minority NPP MPs for a likely investigation into the transaction.
Speaking to Citi News’ Richard Dela Sky, the Majority Leader said the House can only probe the deal if it is officially petitioned.
Mr. Bagbin was commenting on an open call by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for a parliamentary probe into allegations that Seth Terkper broke the law when he reportedly ordered the transfer of public funds amounting to some $250 million being proceeds from Ghana’s recent Eurobond to the UBA.
Dr. Bawumia claimed that UBA after receiving the cash later loaned out the funds to the Mahama government in the form of treasury bills in a deal he claimed amounted to causing financial loss to the state.
He even called for the resignation of the Finance Minister over the transaction he described as reckless. But Alban Bagbin in an interview with Citi News said, Parliament can only move to investigate the matter after a prima facie case is established.
“It has to be placed properly before Parliament. He [Dr. Bawumia] knows what to do and if he doesn’t I’m sure he has his Members of Parliament to advise him as to how he can properly call on parliament to investigate such a thing.”
Mr. Bagbin said currently Parliament has not yet received “any of such call before us and if he means what he says he knows what to do to bring Parliament on board.”
The Nadowli-Kaleo legislator said Dr. Bawumia could do this by petitioning Parliament “and definitely that would be his party member in parliament and they will be bring it and Parliament will set a motion to investigate that matter.”
“It is something that if he feels strong about it, he could come on board, we have no problem in investigating these matters but we will have to go through it to find out whether a prima facie case has been established for us to go deeper into investigating. If it comes clearer that this is not a matter that we need to investigate and the facts are there for anybody to go and pick, we will not waste the resources of the nation to do so,” he added.
Bawumia’s claim on $250m unfounded According to Mr. Terkper, Dr. Bawumia’s assertions are unfounded. He had also assured that, “the US$250 million seed money to GIIF lodged by the Board with a Commercial Bank is safe and has already started bearing interest to the idle Fund.”
Govt didn’t err in $250m transfer to UBA Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Abdul Nashir Issahaku, has dismissed allegations that the Ministry of Finance contravened section (53) of the BoG Act 612 when it transferred 250 million dollars of the 1 billion dollar Eurobond proceeds to a private account.
According to the Governor, government took the cedi equivalent of the amount hence, cannot be in contravention of the BoG law.
“I think from our stand point here, all government foreign exchange has to be in the custody of the Central Bank and when government need their money, they take the equivalent in cedis. The 250 million dollars that was taken out of here, they did not take foreign exchange dollars, the dollars were surrendered to the Central Bank, it was sold to the Central Bank and the government took the equivalent of that in cedis to deposit it elsewhere. So by the Bank of Ghana act, we have been in compliance,” he explained.