The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has challenged former President John Mahama to voluntarily submit himself to be interrogated on the Airbus bribery scandal.
“Your Excellency, the wise and the brave former President John Dramani Mahama, man-up, wise-up, and be brave enough to come with two lawyers of your own choice to be cautioned and interrogated by this Office to demonstrate your valour and wisdom as not being elected Government Official 1 and also as not being the first guarantor to Samuel Adam Mahama’s passport application,” Amidu said in a statement issued on Monday, November 9, 2020.
Amidu had earlier insisted that he deferred the decision to interrogate the former President because Mahama is contesting for the presidency in the upcoming general election.
Mahama was however unhappy because the Special Prosecutor made the announcement in his corruption risk assessment on the Agyapa Gold Royalties Agreement.
Mahama went on further to lambast Amidu and tagged him as a “coward“.
But Amidu has defended his outfit’s decision to defer the probe saying it is in the interest of national security.
“The long public service of the Special Prosecutor spanning various aspects of security and intelligence from the period February 1982 to 7″ January 2001, and July 2009 to January 2012 makes him more experienced in determining when it is not conducive to the national security interest to foolhardily take certain law and order actions. The Special Prosecutor owes that exercise of discretion to his vast experience over the years, his responsibility to maintain national stability, and his conscience as a patriotic anti-corruption crusading Ghanaian. There is no question of stupidity or cowardice about it. Any person aspiring to be President of Ghana for a second term who does not know that a cardinal principle in security and intelligence is that “caution is the better part of valour” was not and is not worth the vote,” Amidu said in a statement issued on Monday, November 9, 2020.
Amidu in the statement insisted that he has evidence to show that Mahama was part of persons who guaranteed documents belonging to Samuel Adam Mahama, one of the people believed to be at the centre of the Airbus bribery scandal.
Read the full statement below:
Background on Airbus bribery scandal
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.
President Nana Akufo-Addo later referred the Airbus bribery scandal to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigations.
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.
Payments in Ghana
In the case of Ghana, the UK court found that the company’s bribe was to land the contract of purchase of a military transport aircraft.
“Between 1 July 2011 and 1 June 2015 Airbus SE failed to prevent persons associated with Airbus SE from bribing others concerned with the purchase of military transport aircraft by the Government of Ghana, where the said bribery was intended to obtain or retain business or advantage in the conduct of business for Airbus SE,” the court’s statement of offence noted.
The documents indicated that one of the unnamed Ghanaian officials was “a key decision-maker in respect of Government of Ghana aircraft orders.”
A number of Airbus employees “made or promised success-based commission payments of approximately €5 million” to one of the Ghanaians implicated in the acts of corruption.
Allegations against Mahama
Although no names were listed by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) insisted that former President John Mahama is the person identified as the “elected Government Official 1″ named in US and UK court documents; a similar claim made by the Special Prosecutor.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was in power during the period the bribes were allegedly paid, denied the claims.
Mr. John Mahama also said he was not part of any underhand dealings in the matter.