Airbus bribery: Majority Leader charges Mahama to open up for probe Featured

By Nana Yaw Dwamena February 05, 2020 3696 892 comments

Former President John Mahama has been asked to open himself up for a probe in respect of the Airbus bribery scandal.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who made the call, said even though the UK court failed to name Mr Mahama, having served as Vice-President and President within the period of 2009 and 2015, it will be in his own interest to avail himself to be probed.

Non-disclosure

He mentioned how attempts by the then Minority, led by himself, to fish out details about the deal were vehemently opposed by the then NDC majority.

“The issue we raised then was about suspicion and we wrote to the [Airbus] centres, the one in Brazil, Spain and finally France, but we hit a roadblock in all of them.

“I think if former President Mahama is committed to transparency and accountability, he should open himself up for these institutions to probe into the matter,” he said on Citi FM yesterday.

Mr Mensah-Bonsu recalled that, while debating the matter at the time, he found that the price of the C-295 was captured on Airbus’ website as US$22, even though documents tabled before Parliament had pegged the price at €24 million per piece.

Come clean

The Majority Leader noted that the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), in stating the facts of the case, said between 2009 and 2015, “a number of Airbus employees made or promised success based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5”, who is said to be “a close relative of a high ranking elected Ghanaian Government official (Government Official 1)”.

The report has generated a lot of wild speculations about who the real persons are, but many believe a probe should be easy to unearth the culprits.

To Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the NDC flag bearer must allow himself to be probed to bring clarity on the matter.

Special Prosecutor challenged

Meanwhile, the communications director of the NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, has urged the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to publicly declare his stance on the scandal.

Mr Amidu was the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice from January 2011 till January 2012, during which time he raised some concerns about the acquisition of some Embraer aircraft whose purchase was championed by then then Vice-President Mahama.

According to the Special Prosecutor, in his then “Amidu Epistles,” the late President Atta-Mills set up a committee to “investigate the processes of the acquisition of five aircraft, including Embraer 190 aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces.”

Credible investigations

Mr Buaben Asamoa, in a media interview, called on Mr Amidu to declare his stance so as to make the investigation process credible and trustworthy.

“If that is construed as self-interest, then I think Martin will have to come out and deconstruct it for all of us. I think it is for Martin to come out clearly and say that ‘at that stage, I had an interest in these matters’ because you recall that he is the same person who came up with the Embraer issues.

“And these were quoted at the same time, so it is for Martin to deconstruct them quickly and let us move on in the direction that we should go because the investigation has to happen,” Buaben Asamoa added.


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