The Accra High Court has quashed certain findings by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) that the government breached financial laws in the issuance of the US$2.25-billion bonds in 2017
“The right to be heard or given an opportunity to be heard is so fundamental that a breach of it is always an opportunity to set aside or quash a decision,’’
The decision of the court followed a judicial review application filed by the Attorney-General (A-G) challenging the adverse findings which formed part of the 140-page report by CHRAJ on the bond transaction.
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The A-G prayed for an order of certiorari quashing the said findings by CHRAJ on the basis that the commission exceeded its jurisdiction.
In March 2017, the government, through the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana, issued five-year,
According to the government, the proceeds of the bonds were to be used to re-profile the country’s domestic debt stock as part of its debt management strategy.
The issuance of the bonds was heavily criticised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
On April 25, 2017, a member of the NDC,
CHRAJ, in its decision on December 22, 2017, stated that
Another finding was that the Finance Minister failed to disclose all his assets, as required by Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution.
Dissatisfied with CHRAJ’s findings, the A-G marched to court, seeking to have the finding that had to do with the breach of Act 921 annulled, while
The High Court, on July 25, 2018, upheld
With regard to the breach of Act 921, a Deputy A-G,
He said by law such functions were reserved for the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), which is clothed with the mandate to regulate the securities and markets industry and the issuance of bonds.
He further submitted that the functions of CHRAJ were clearly defined by the 1992 Constitution and, therefore, in the instant case, the commission had the jurisdiction to only establish whether or not there had been
“The decision of the respondent (CHRAJ) is not only unlawful but has the real potential to bring uncertainty and in the financial and securities industry,’’
CHRAJ, in its response, submitted that it did not exceed its jurisdiction but merely interrogated the procedure through which the bonds were issued.
Counsel for CHRAJ,
“Even the SEC and the manner in which its officers carry out and apply regulations governing the issuance of securities can be a subject matter of investigations by the respondent (CHRAJ),’’ he averred.
Counsel, therefore, impressed on the court to dismiss the application for judicial review filed by the A-G.
The court, however, ruled in