Bright Simons files RTI request demanding details on KMA’s ‘missing’ GH¢3.6m

Lawyers for the Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, have filed a Right to Information (RTI) request (pursuant to Act 989) demanding a full disclosure on the utilisation of a sum of GH¢3.6 million belonging to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).

The money, which was held by Fidelity Bank Ghana, has generated controversy when the bank was allegedly unable to account for the funds.

Reports suggest that KMA raised an alarm over the amount in question, said to be part of a GH¢8 million loan secured from Fidelity Bank for redeveloping the KMA-Krofrom Market Project.

Per the report, only GH¢5 million was released for the project’s execution, with the remaining amount unaccounted for.

Fidelity Bank came out in a statement to deny any foul play and clarified that: “there is no missing or unaccounted for amount of GH¢3.6 million as indicated in KMA’s release. The entire amount of GH¢ 8.6 million disbursed for Phase 1 of the project comprised GH¢4 million disbursed from Fidelity Bank’s approved facility of GH¢5 million and the KMA’s own funds of GH¢4.6 million disbursed from their contribution of GH¢5million towards the project.”

But lawyers for Bright Simons, Gratia Law Consult, in their request indicated that the applicant demands “a detailed and thorough understanding of these arrangements [between Fidelity Bank and KMA] to assist his further factual deductions and to pursue his public interest objectives.”

The lawyers added that they expect the KMA to fully cooperate and grant the request devoid of supposed delays because “for the avoidance of doubt, we 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 in view of its receipt of public resources through KMA and others.

“There are, therefore, ample statutory and public policy grounds for the requested information to be disclosed in full, without exception or exemption, and without any regard to commercial secrecy.”