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General News of Tuesday, 14 May 2024



Bright Simons seeks transparency on GH¢3.6m KMA funds

Bright Simons, Vice President for IMANI Africa Bright Simons, Vice President for IMANI Africa

Lawyers representing Bright Simons, Vice President of IMANI Africa, have submitted a Right to Information (RTI) request under Act 989, demanding full disclosure regarding the utilization of GH¢3.6 million belonging to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).

The funds, held by Fidelity Bank Ghana, have sparked controversy after reports emerged that the bank was unable to account for the money.

According to reports, the KMA raised concerns over the GH¢3.6 million, which is part of an GH¢8 million loan secured from Fidelity Bank for the redevelopment of the KMA-Krofrom Market Project. It is alleged that only GH¢5 million was released for the project, leaving the remaining amount unaccounted for.

In response to the controversy, Fidelity Bank issued a statement denying any wrongdoing. The bank clarified that there is no missing or unaccounted-for amount of GH¢3.6 million, stating that the total GH¢8.6 million disbursed for Phase 1 of the project comprised GH¢4 million from Fidelity Bank's GH¢5 million facility and GH¢4.6 million from KMA's own funds.

Gratia Law Consult, representing Bright Simons, stated in their RTI request that their client seeks a detailed understanding of the arrangements between Fidelity Bank and KMA to pursue his public interest objectives.

The lawyers emphasized the importance of full cooperation from KMA in granting the request, citing statutory and public policy grounds for the information to be disclosed without exception.

The lawyers highlighted that Fidelity Bank, due to its dealings with KMA and other state-owned institutions, qualifies as a "relevant private body" under Act 989 and is considered a quasi-public institution.

They argued that there are sufficient grounds for the requested information to be disclosed in full, without regard to commercial secrecy, emphasizing the need for transparency in the handling of public resources.

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