BoG’s refusal to honour Parliament’s invitation over collapsed banks disrespectful – Dafeamekpor

Member of Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, Rockson Dafeamekpor has described as arrogant and disrespectful, the refusal by Bank of Ghana (BoG) to appear before a committee probing the revocation of the banking licences of Unibank and UT Bank.

Speaking to JoyNews’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo, he explained that the invitation by Parliament is not to interfere in the Bank’s performance of its function, however, as a public institution, the Bank is accountable to parliament.

“You don’t go and supposedly perform the functions of your office and incur a colossal amount of loss to the country. Then, come to Parliament to ask for money, so that you can go and pay the persons who have incurred losses.”

“So, if there are such outstanding matters from the non-performance of your so called independent function, we have a duty to ask you questions, to go into the merit and make recommendations going forward,” he added.

Rockson Dafeamekpor made these comments in reaction to a letter written to Parliament by lawyers of the BoG, Bentsi-Enchill Letsa and Ankomah, that the Bank will not assist Parliament in its investigations into the matter because the request flies in the face of the 1992 Constitution. 

The central bank explained that the petitioners, Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Dr Kwabena Duffour, owners of the two banks, seek to use Parliament to review decisions that it has taken.

The BoG further explained that this decision was taken according to its statutory powers under the Banks and Specialised Deposit Taking Institutions (BSDTI) Act, 2016 (Act 930).

“The BSDTI Act provides how persons who are aggrieved with such decisions may seek redress for their grievances, and the prescribed resolution mechanisms do not include recourse to Parliament.”

But, Mr. Dafeamekpor said the BOG should not be allowed to have its way because the Committee does not only need them to answer questions but also provide some documents that can aid its probe.

He stated that he will push for Parliament to invoke its powers and compel them to appear. 

“You do not show us disrespect, and in a very dismissive manner and condescending tone send a letter to Parliament that you will not appear, you will not recognise the process.”

Mr Dafeamekpor added that claims by the BoG that the issue has been resolved is untrue stating that the institutions had indicated that it was still before a resolution body.

“So we (Parliament) are also empowered in law to enquire into the matter, the two are not mutually exclusive, so they should be guided,” he said.

Parliament probes BoG, GSE over collapsed banks

In March, former Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor and the former CEO of UT Bank petitioned Parliament over the Bank of Ghana (BoG)’s revocation of their banking license.

In a statement set for discussion in the House on Monday, March 22, sighted by Joy News, the former Governor of the central bank petitioned the Legislature to investigate the conduct of BoG in the takeover.

Mr Duffuor is also asking Parliament to direct the restoration of the banking license of Unibank Ghana Limited by BoG and remedying the harm done to the shareholders’ property rights as a result of the conduct of the central bank.

In reaction to the petition, Parliament constituted a 9-member committee to probe the circumstances leading to the revocation of the banking licenses.

The committee, chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, in April, directed the petitioners to submit all necessary documents to support their petition.

Chairman of the Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, said the documentation will serve as a guide to the committee moving forward.

The probe comes at a time when their respective cases are undergoing both civil and criminal trials in court.