Reject Ofori-Atta & Godfred Dame’s Nomination …..Parliament Petitioned

Godfred Odame and Ken ofori Atta Godfred Odame and Ken ofori Atta

Some aggrieved customers of defunct gold dealership firm, Menzgold, have written to Parliament, asking its Appointments Committee not to approve Godfred Dame's nomination as Attorney General.

According to them, Mr Dame, throughout the four-year period he served as a deputy, he failed to take critical action on major issues that were brought to the attention of the ministry.

Also before the Appointments Committee is another petition by a group of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to reject the nomination of Ken Ofori Atta, as minister-designate for Finance.

The CSOs alleged that Mr Ofori Atta, when in office, acted in ways that violated the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA), Fiscal Responsibility Act (2018), Public Procurement Act, Act 914, the Financial Administration Act, Act 654, the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and several other misconducts as explained in this petition.

In the case of Godfred Dame's nomination, a memorandum sent to Parliament, the group known as the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold Ghana (CACM) said: "even though Mr. Dame was not the substantive head of the AG at the time, his approach to the professionals and stakeholders who visited him in relation to the Menzgold matter was laissez-faire, non-committal and dismissive."

The group said his actions suggest he would not be interested in dealing with criminals who defraud Ghanaians.

"Altogether he came across as a person seeking to be a Minister of Justice he did not see why Ghana should follow other countries that have a zero-tolerance for criminals defrauding the mass public through ponzi schemes. Furthermore, from his previous stand in this criminal case, if appointed, he is likely to follow the government's position that 'greedy' customers are not victims of a pervasive, orchestrated, strategic, large scale financial crime against the citizens of Ghana," part of the memorandum read.

They said the actions of Mr. Dame over the past years indicate that he would not serve in the interest of the public and would toe the line of the government in any matter even when it is clear the position of the government is not in the best interest of citizens.

"Our fear is that, he would not act in the best interest of Ghana in all public interest matters and not exercise independent legal opinion (should the Government's overall position in a particular matter be against public interest or the State's interest)."

"We therefore invite the Appointments Committee to review this petition and take the petition into consideration when making a final decision regarding whether Mr. Dame suits the position of Minister of Justice," they concluded.

Godfred Dame is scheduled to be vetted on Friday, February 12, 2021.

He is the second among three persons to be vetted on that day.

The others are Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Ambrose Dery as Minister for the Interior.

CSOs argued in the case of the Ken Ofori-Atta that "We the undersigned, the Alliance For Social Equity and Public Accountability-ASEPA, the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold-COAM, the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of GoldCoast Securities, the Coalition of Aggrieved Savings and Loans Customers-CASLOC officially petitions the appointment committee of Parliament relative to the President's nomination of Mr.Ken Ofori-Atta as Finance Minister designate.

"On the 22nd of January, 2021, the Presidency issued a communiqué informing the general public of the submission of a list of nominees to Parliament through the Speaker to be considered and vetted for the various ministerial portfolios.

Among the list of names submitted to the Speaker is Mr Ofori-Attah, the former Finance Minister and Finance Minister designate here in referred to as the respondent of this petition.

"It is our contention that the respondent occupied the position of finance Minister of the Republic of Ghana, between 2017-2021, during such period the respondent acted in ways and manners that violated the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA), Fiscal Responsibility Act (2018), Public Procurement Act, Act 914, the Financial Administration Act, Act 654, the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and several other misconducts as explained in this petition.

"Pursuant to existing protocols available to the Public to send memoranda to committees of Parliament during exercises such as the vetting of public officers, we wish to file this petition accordingly and to pray that the appointments committee rejects out rightly the nomination of Ken Ofori-Attah as Finance Minister designate on the grounds of Incompetence, Over-exposure to the financial sector of the economy, record of abuse of office and gross misbehavior, and reckless violations of Public Financial Laws and Criminal misconducts among others," their petition said.

It added "The respondent as the Minister of Finance from 2017-2021 supervised the biggest banking crisis in the history of this Country. This led to the total collapse of over 7 indigenous banks, 23 savings and loans companies, over 300 microfinance companies and about 20 fund management companies.

"We believe that the way and manner the so called banking sector clean up took place was reckless, unlawful and violated specific provisions of Act 930(the banking Act), Act 929(Securities Industries Act) and other relevant laws. The economic crisis that followed thereof from the loss of jobs, investments and an unprecedented liquidity challenge set Ghana up for a very painful yet avoidable period that still lingers on.

"In this specific case of the banks, there are several instances where the conduct of the finance minister directly played a key role in their crisis and later collapse. Specific cases such as the collapse of Unibank, Heritage Bank and GN bank cannot be over-emphasized."