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Bright Simons Files RTI Request for Clarity on KMA’s Alleged GH¢3.6m Discrepancy

The legal firm representing the Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons has formally submitted a Right to Information (RTI) request under Act 989. The request aims to disclose the expenditure of GH¢3.6 million allocated to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).

Gratia Law Consult, the legal firm representing the Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons has formally submitted a Right to Information (RTI) request under Act 989. The request aims to disclose the expenditure of GH¢3.6 million allocated to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).

This development follows recent concerns regarding funds allegedly held by Fidelity Bank Ghana, which can not be fully accounted for. According to reports, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has raised issues regarding a portion of the GH¢8 million loan obtained from Fidelity Bank for the KMA-Krofrom Market Project redevelopment. It is alleged that only GH¢5 million was disbursed for the project, leaving a discrepancy in the utilization of the remaining amount.

Fidelity Bank clarified that the GH¢8.6 million disbursed for Phase 1 of the project included GH¢4 million from their approved GH¢5 million facility and GH¢4.6 million from KMA’s contributions. 

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In November 2020, KMA transferred GH¢5 million as advance mobilisation into the project account held at Fidelity Bank, sourced from KMA’s own funds.

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Fidelity Bank approved a GH¢5 million short-term loan facility for the project, disbursing GH¢4 million in February 2021 based on project progress.

KMA then combined this with their GH¢4.6 million to support payments totalling GH¢8.6 million for project contractors in the first phase.

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Fidelity Bank confirmed that in December 2021, KMA settled the remaining GH¢4 million owed to the bank. The bank stated that according to their records, there is no missing GH¢3.6 million as claimed by KMA.

They clarified that the GH¢8.6 million used for Phase 1 of the project came from GH¢4 million of their approved GH¢5 million facility and GH¢4.6 million from KMA’s contribution. Fidelity Bank emphasized that they have maintained open communication with KMA since April 5, 2023, addressing inquiries and providing necessary information up to September 27, 2023.

Amidst this controversy,  lawyers for Bright Simons said for the avoidance of doubt, they believe, on careful consideration of the statute and the circumstances at hand, that Fidelity Bank, because of its dealings with KMA and other state-owned institutions, qualifies to be listed as a relevant private body within the meaning of the term in Act 989 and, at any rate, is a quasi-public institution given its receipt of public resources through KMA and others.

The lawyers are requesting the receipt of information from the KMA concerning the contract they have with Fidelity Bank alongside a nine-point information.

“A list of all legal, financial, banking, and commercial relationships existing and active between the KMA and Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited (Fidelity Bank”) as of 1 January 2017 and A list of all legal, financial, banking, and commercial relationships consummated or commenced between the KMA and Fidelity Bank list of al legal, 2017 banking, financial, and commercial relationships,” according to the lawyers.

The legal team also asked for a comprehensive list of all current banking, financial, and commercial connections between KMA and Fidelity Bank as of May 10, 2024. They requested details on when these relationships were established, their expected end dates, and copies of the corresponding agreements.

“A list of all legal banking, financial, and commercial relationships between the KMA and Fidelity Bank that remains active as of 10th May 2024, when they were entered into and their expected expiry date and a copy of the agreements governing each relationship,” they stated.

Bright Simons requested a detailed record of payments and transfers made to and received from Fidelity Bank for each relationship, including dates and purposes of transactions, whether involving KMA directly or indirectly with contractors, consultants, service providers, or third parties. They also request any correspondence and reports regarding the status of these relationships and transactions, including disputes, investigations, audits, amendments, renegotiations, addendums, restatements, abrogations, and revocations.

“A ledger of payments and or transfers paid to and received from Fidelity with respect to each relationship, the date of such payments transfers, and the corresponding purpose of each payment transfer, whether directly to or from KMA or indirectly to or from contractors, consultants, service providers, and or other third parties. Relevant correspondence and reports touching on the status of these relationships and payments or transfers, including any disputes, disagreements, investigations, audits, amendments, acts of renegotiations, addendums, restatements, abrogation, and revocations,” the statement added.

 

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