The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper Abdul Malik Kweku Baako is claiming that recent media publications linking the brother of President John Mahama to the sale of Merchant Bank to First-Rand, South Africa, are orchestrated by some persons in government.

Kweku Baako will not mention names but insists some officials at SSNIT, Merchant Bank as well as some government functionaries are part of the smear campaign against Engineers and Planners.

SSNIT announced the sale of its majority interest in Merchant Bank to First-Rand of South Africa as part of strategies to boost returns on its investments.

The bank also announced accepting a little over 176 million Ghana cedis from the second biggest finance group in South Africa to acquire 75 percent of its stake.

The controversial transaction has taken political turn with the opposition New Patriotic Party insisting the sale was as a result of the failure of the bank to recover a Ghc57 million loan facility to Engineers and Planners, a mining company owned by President Mahama?s younger brother, Ibrahim Mahama.

The NPP held a news conference claiming Merchant Bank had been brought to its knees because it had written off the loan it granted to Engineers and Planners, declaring the GHC57 million as bad debt. Merchant Bank on Friday issued a statement to reject this claim.

?Ibrahim?s company, the E and P, its difficulties begun under the Kufuor administration, but the problem worsened under the NDC 3 administration, it is a fact,? Mr. Baako revealed on Newsfile on Joy FM and MultiTV on Saturday.

According to him, the purported sale of Merchant Bank to First-Rand of South Africa will come to naught. He said reliable information available to him indicates that the Bank of Ghana will not give approval for the transaction.

?The people who are at Merchant Bank and SSNIT, the big guys who have been driving this transaction; they should listen carefully, it?s not gonna happen,? he assured.

Source Joy News Ghana

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