Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, Member of Parliament for Assin South, has applauded moves by Interpol to arrest and prosecute Samuel Adam Foster, also known as Adam Mahama for his alleged role in the Airbus bribery scandal.
Rev. Ntim Fordjour in February 2020 called for a parliamentary inquiry into the airbus scandal to uncover the identities of the Government Official 1 and Intermediary 5, who were named as the local accomplices in the international saga.
Rev. Ntim Fordjour made the request in a statement he read on the Floor of the Parliament urging the House to lift the veil on the said officials whose identity still remained a mystery.
According to the Assin South MP, such an inquiry remains the only true way of putting the matter to rest.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Ntim Fordjour said the move by Interpol is an important step in fighting corruption, adding that it also justifies his calls for a probe into the matter.
“I must say that this action is a very important and creditable step in the fight against corruption and justifying the calls that I earlier made that the Parliament of Ghana as an institution ought to show more interest in the persons so named in the judicial pronouncement; Intermediary 1, Government official 1 and such other people that were mentioned. We recall that this was a matter that brought international embarrassment in no mean scale to the name of Ghana as a country together with five other countries that were named in the scandal. This was a scandal that warranted the confession of Airbus and they conceded to the issues raised and actually accepted to pay a fine of three billion dollars, and this is not a fine that can be downplayed.”
On January 31, Ghana was cited as one of five countries in which global aerospace group, Airbus SE, allegedly bribed or promised payments to senior officials in exchange for business favours between 2009 and 2015, according to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
This led to a record £3 billion in settlement by Airbus with France, the United Kingdom and the United States to avoid corporate criminal charges.
The Assin South legislator also argued that the investigation and prosecution or otherwise of the suspects involved in the scandal will go a long way to absolve the name of Ghana.
“We must be interested in exonerating the name of Ghana and the only way to exonerate the name of Ghana is to investigate and probe. We have to unravel this charade, and once we are able to unravel the people behind these nomenclatures and the roles, they played in the entire scandal then a court of competent jurisdiction can look into the matter. If the court acquits and discharges them of any wrongdoing then the name of Ghana will be purged from this international embarrassment. And if they are found to be complicit and prosecuted, it will be a very good step in giving credence in the collective fight against corruption.”
President Akufo-Addo had earlier referred the Airbus bribery scandal to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigations.
These investigations were expected to be conducted in collaboration with UK authorities, according to a statement from the presidency.
In addition to Ghana, the company allegedly paid bribes to officials in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Taiwan within the same period.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office, however, in its statement of fact did not name the individual Ghanaian officials nor the Airbus agents involved in the crime because investigations were still ongoing.
Interpol issue Red Alert
Adam Mahama is being charged with “accepting a bribe to influence a public officer” and “acting in collaboration with a public officer for the public officer’s private profit”.
Following an arrest warrant approved by a Circuit Court in Accra, the Interpol subsequently placed a Red Alert for the capture and possible extradition of Mr. Adam Mahama.
If arrested and prosecuted, Mr. Mahama could be facing a jail term of about 25 years.