Friday, May 7, 2021

Airbus scandal: John Mahama is ‘Government Official 1’ – Amidu suggests

Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has indicated that the unidentified ‘Government Official 1’ cited in the £5 million Airbus bribery scandal is former President John Mahama.

Although Mr Amidu fails to identify John Mahama by his name in a press release issued on Friday, July 24, 2020, he gives a firm clue by referencing a publication in the state-owned Daily Graphic newspaper last month.

“…the elected Government Official 1 allegedly granted a denial interview to the Daily Graphic which published same on 20 June 2020, fortunately, containing suspected admissions that he is the elected Government Official 1 referred to in the UK judgement,” the relevant part of Mr Amidu’s statement said.

Former President John Mahama first broke his silence on the Airbus scandal in a Daily Graphic publication, dismissing allegations of wrongdoing in the purchase of the two Airbus aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces.

That publication was made on June 20, 2020.

In that publication, Mr Mahama also denied benefiting from the deal financially.

The scandal

Ghana has been named among five countries in which Airbus, an aviation giant, paid or attempted to pay millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for contracts, leading a court in Britain to slap a fine of £5 billion on the company.

In court documents and hearings in the UK, Airbus admitted five counts of failing to prevent bribery, using a network of secret agents to pay large-scale backhanders to officials in foreign countries, including Ghana, to land high-value contracts.

The Special Prosecutor in the July 24 press release also revealed that his Office has written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the voluntary return to Ghana of another suspect in the matter.

UK-based Samuel Adam Foster (Mahama), who is a brother to the former president, has been described as a fugitive in an Interpol red alert notice.

He is on the Interpol wanted list over allegations of corruption levelled against him in the Airbus matter.

“Samuel Adam Mahama must be given the opportunity to voluntarily accept to return to Ghana and put himself upon the Republic of Ghana to vindicate himself and save this country of the millions of foreign exchange from the public purse that must be expended to extradite him to Ghana from the UK or any other country in execution of the Interpol Red Notice issued against him as a fugitive wanted for prosecution as published on 10 July 2020,” Mr Amidu’s letter to the Ministry stated.

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