Source: myjoyonline.comPresident John Mahama has denied using executive power to stall attempts by Merchant Bank to recover a loan granted Engineers & Planners, a company owned by his brother.
The president insists that no conflict of interest situation arose when he intervened in the case involving Engineers & Planners, following the company’s default in settling its debt to the state bank.
Engineers & Planners took a loan of Gh¢57 million from the bank in 2007 but huge interests have accrued on the amount. The debt according to reports now stands at Gh¢175 million.
Documents available to Joy News indicate that Mr Mahama as Vice-President and acting on a petition to him by lawyer for E&P, Tony Lithur, held meetings with Merchant Bank over the company’s indebtedness to the bank.
But responding to questions from journalists at the Flagstaff House to mark the first anniversary of his administration Tuesday, president Mahama said he did not use executive power to influence Merchant Bank in its quest to recover monies owed it by E&P.
“I have no interest in Engineers and Planners [and] I don’t own a single share in Engineers and Planners,” the president said.
“…the president [Atta Mills] called a meeting which I attended, to discuss the distress in which Merchant Bank was…Engineers and Planners happened to be owned by my younger brother Ibrahim and [so] I sat in that meeting.
“Out of that meeting, no intervention was made to direct Merchant Bank to do anything…After all I became president in July , I could have influenced SSNIT [Social Security and National Insurance Trust] I could have dismissed the Merchant Bank Board…I didn’t do that”.
The president therefore directed SSNIT, who owed majority shares in the bank at the time, to put up a taskforce to retrieve all monies owed the it by companies and individuals.