Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has denied allegations it bribed MP for the Efutu Constituency in the Central Region, Alexander Afenyo Markin, to drop a suit against the bank.
The bank says claims that more than $900,000 was given to the MP from the bank to drop a lawsuit blocking the issuance an IPO are false.
“Spurious as these allegations are, we cannot accept the fact that the Bank could misapply public funds in this reckless manner – a total of $900,000 being paid to one single person because there was a threat of court action against the bank’s IPO?” the bank legal department said in a letter to the media.
The bank’s response to the matter which made news headlines last year was captured in a letter signed by the company’s Lawyer, M.K Amoakohene, and copied to the bank’s Managing Director and Board Secretary.
The letter, dated 4th March 2016, was in response to a request from lawyers for an anti-corruption advocacy group, the Forum for the Protection of Public Funds, for further details on the alleged corrupt act, so they could pursue it in court.The request letter was dated February 28, 2016.
The group wanted the bank to release the audio tape on which they claim the MP admitted receiving a bribe from the bank to drop the Supreme Court case initiated by his colleague MP, Mark Assibey-Yeboah, to force the state-owned bank from launching its initial public offer (IPO), without parliamentary approval.
The Bank in its letter said, “We wish to observe that the contents of your letter are not only disturbing and shocking but appears to be a professionally tabulated pack of half-truths completely in sync with outright lies. More shocking is the information on the payment of $400,000 into the account of Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markins in South Africa and a further $500,000 into a sister’s account in the United States by the Bank. There is also the cedi component of Ghc250, 000 allegedly paid to Hon. Afenyo Markins in an act of extortion. Spurious as these allegations are, we cannot accept the fact that the Bank could misapply public funds in this reckless manner- a total of $900,000 being paid to one single person because there was a threat of court action against the bank’s IPO? These are calculated distractive acts intended to derail the IPO which has already seen enough upsets.”
“There is no way the Bank will employ that quantum of funds to simply get an IPO through by any such illegal means or that the process had been threatened by a court action and there was therefore the need to do something to get the process going. At any rate, the court actions came by and the bank marshalled its legal brains and eventually dealt with the matter.”
Leaked tape had nothing to do with us
According to the Bank, linking the said leaked audio tape to the confusion over its IPO at the time was a flaw.
“It is true that there was a leaked tape which went viral but to link the tape and the contents to our bank because there was an issue about IPO we think is a little unimaginative. Assuming without admitting that there was ever any such approach by the Hon. Afenyo Markins, we wish to state categorically that no money from the bank has ever been paid or will be paid to anyone for this kind of cause. Copies of the tape are not in the custody of the Bank and we are unable to so assist you in obtaining copies. To conclude, we wish to say that the bank has not paid any monies to Hon. Afenyo Markins or anyone connected to him,” the bank’s letter concluded.