The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has constituted a nine-member committee to look into a petition presented to the House by two majority shareholders of uniBank and UT Bank.
The petition called for an investigation into the conduct of the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Stock Exchange in the revocation of the licences of the banks.
The Speaker, after the petition was officially brought before him by the Bawku Central legislator, Mahama Ayariga, proposed a seven-member committee.
But on the floor of the House on Tuesday, Mr. Bagbin indicated that his earlier ruling had been revised.
The First Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai, Joseph Osei-Wusu will chair the committee.
“It is directed to consider the petitions and duly report to the House at the commencement of the Second Meeting. The Committee is composed in consultation with leadership”, the Speaker noted.
Other members are Alexander Afenyo- Markin (MP, Effutu), Joe Ghartey (MP, Essikando-Ketan), Patrick Yaw Boamah (MP, Okaikwei Central), Samuel Atta-Akyea (MP, Abuakwa South), James Klutse Avedzi (MP, Ketu North), Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson (MP, Ajumako Enyan Esiam), Isaac Adongo (MP, Bolagtanga Central) and Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare (MP, Techiman North).
Opposition to committee
Even before the committee will be formed, some Majority members kicked against the Parliamentary probe because of the ongoing litigation involving one of the banks.
For instance, the Okaikoi Central MP, Patrick Boamah, said the petition will achieve no result as the House does not have the power to intervene.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, also wanted the Speaker, Alban Bagbin to reconsider the planned inquiry into the dissolution of the banks.
He made the point that the committee’s work would impair the adjudication of the two cases currently before the Supreme Court.
But Alban Bagbin in a detailed report assured that admitting and laying of the petitions will not be a contravention.
Consistent with prior parliamentary practice, I may exercise my discretion to provide for occasions in the sub judice rule may be permitted in order to prevent a real and substantial danger of prejudice to a proceeding, and to ensure that a Member, in making reference to that matter does not seek to pass judgment on or prejudice the matter, he said.
Petition and collapse of banks
Former stakeholders of the banks, Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Dr. Kwabena Duffuor petitioned Parliament to investigate the conduct of the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Stock Exchange in the revocation of the licences of UT Bank as well as uniBank and delisting them from the country’s stock exchange.
The petition also sought the restoration of the licences of these banks.
Dr. Duffuor, founder of now-defunct uniBank and Mr. Amoabeng, former Chief Executive Officer of collapsed UT bank, had the licences of their respective financial institutions revoked during the banking sector clean-up which commenced in 2017.
For UT Bank, the apex bank claimed it took the action against the institution because it was insolvent and was unable to recapitalize despite several assurances from the company’s shareholders.
The apex bank also gave similar reasons for the revocation of uniBank’s licence saying the financial institution was significantly undercapitalized.