Over 2.25 Billion Dollar Bond Transaction
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, might be having some sleepless nights and perhaps regretting his decision to borrow the 2.25 billion dollar from Investment Firm, Franklin Templeton in the United States for his cousin’s government with the appointment of a top notch investigator by name Jennifer M. Carr, to probe the transaction and roles played by the Ofori-Atta family and friends.
Jennifer M. Carr, according to The Herald’s findings, is an experienced Market Intelligence officer and lawyer by profession, having trained in the University of Maryland, School of Law and worked with Denick & Hyman law firm in Baltimore – USA.
Jennifer M. Carr, is a Case Management Specialist, with broad understanding of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, with emphasis on fraud, high yield investment schemes, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The full scale investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was triggered by reports of conflict of interest and insider trading in the 2.25 billion dollar bond transaction issue by the Akufo-Addo government.
The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament, filed the petition in the US.
The US$2.25 billion bond, has been portrayed as having been cooked by family and friends of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori -Atta.
The Finance Minister’s two companies, Data Bank and Enterprise Insurance, his friends, Keli Gadzekpo and Trevor G. Trefgarne; Chairman of the Enterprise Group, Dr. Angela Ofori-Atta; wife of the Finance Minister, have all been mentioned in connection to the money, with the Minority calling for a full scale investigation into the bond controversy.
The same Trevor G. Trefgarne, who is on the Board of Franklin Templeton, bought the US$2.25 billion bond from Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, headed by his friend, Ken Ofori-Atta.
The US investigator, also has experience in reviewing periodic filings of broker-dealers, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and other laws on the subject matter.
She has been working with the US Securities and Exchange Commission since June 2012 in the Washington D.C. Metro Area as a Staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement; Office of Market Intelligence.
Jennifer M. Carr, has handled briefs on the Broker Dealer Risk, evaluated tips, complaints, and referrals, developing facts and recommending disposition.
The Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, last week confirmed the appointment of Jennifer M. Carr, as a case manager, who will commence the probe.
“I can confirm to you that the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America has formally communicated to us and informed us that a case manager by name Jennifer M. Carr has been appointed as the case manager on this case.”
“The communication indicates that they are launching a full scale investigation into the US 2.25 billion bond issue which as you do know has generated considerable controversies. We still insist that there is the need to raise concerns over the general lack of transparency, the general abuse of process, conflict of interest and violation of the laws of Ghana and other international financial laws, and that is why we continue to ask all the questions,” Mr. Sam Okudzeto said.
The move is the latest twist to the bond controversy after Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, appeared in Parliament last Wednesday to respond to a half hour motion.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa told Citi News’ Duke Mensah Opoku that, the Minority, would explore all options available to prove that the bond was not issued in the right manner.
“Unfortunately, when the Finance Minister appeared before Parliament, he did not satisfy all the questions we had asked of him in our half hour motion. Our half hour motion was very specific. We wanted full documentation. As we speak, we do not have the prospectus. He did not submit the agreement that had been signed between the book runners, the government of Ghana and Franklin Templeton, we don’t have that agreement…so we will continue to pursue this matter,” he explained.
Concerns have been raised especially by the Minority about the transparency of the $2.25 billion domestic bond government issued, with some noting that the apparent secrecy over the deal fueled the allegations of conflict of interest against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.
The Minority in its conflict of interest allegations, said a non-executive director on the board of Investment Firm, Franklin Templeton, who purchased 95 percent of the $2.25 billion bond, is also the Chairman of the Enterprise Group, which has links to the Attorney-General and the Finance Minister.
The Minority, eventually called for a full-scale parliamentary probe into the bond issue. It also petitioned the United States Security Exchange Commission to probe the deal they believe was secured to benefit cronies.