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How Akufo-Addo ‘tainted’ Mahama with the Airbus scandal at the GBA conference

Akufo Addo, Mahama Sad11212 John Dramani Mahama (left) and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Mon, 11 Sep 2023 Source:

It appears President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has more reservations about former President John Dramani Mahama’s recent criticisms of him and the judicial arm of government.

The president, who was particularly not happy about Mahama’s suggestion that he has packed the courts of Ghana with New Patriotic Party (NPP) loyalists, could not hold back his criticism of his predecessor at the 2023 Ghana Bar Association Annual Conference in Cape Coast on Monday, September 11, 2023.

He said that Mahama’s suggestion of appointing NDC judges in order to 'balance the bench' is a danger to Ghana’s democracy and a reason for Ghanaians to not vote for him in the 2024 elections. He also tainted the former president with the Airbus scandal.

“Not only are these concepts of 'NPP' and 'NDC' judges new in our public discourse, but they are also extremely dangerous, and represent the most brazen attack on the independence of the judiciary by any allegedly responsible politician of the 4th Republic.

“They provide another reason, if more were needed, why right-thinking citizens should ensure the defeat in 2024 of the man whom the first Special Prosecutor identified as Government Official No.1, in the still unresolved Airbus Bribery Scandal,” he said.

He also took a swipe at the former president by stating that he has been the presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for three elections, as he referred to him (Mahama) as the “perennial NDC presidential candidate”.

What Mahama said about ‘balancing’ the courts:

Former President John Dramani Mahama called for a balancing out of Ghana's bench which he says is currently packed with persons who are sympathetic to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He urged lawyers in the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to prepare themselves to get onto the bench in order to balance out the massive appointments Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has made onto the bench in the last seven years.

“You can see what the current president has done, he has appointed the biggest number of judges onto the bench, it is more than 80 towards 100 and counting," he noted in a virtual address to the 3rd Annual Lawyers Conference of the NDC on Saturday, September 2.

“He has packed the court and we know they have packed the court because they want to avoid accountability after they have left office. We must be prepared as NDC legal persons to also go onto the bench so that we can balance out the judiciary.

“Currently, the judiciary is packed with NPP-inclined judges because this government has carried out a deliberate policy of putting their people on to the bench.

“So, I encourage some of you to look at careers on the bench so that we can balance out what the current situation is,” he added.

About Airbus scandal:

Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, was alleged to have paid bribes in Ghana when it sold the three military aircraft.

The aerospace multinational admitted hiring the brother of a top elected Ghanaian official as its consultant for the pitch to sell the aircraft to the country.

Also, Airbus confessed to paying the said consultant through a third party when its Compliance Unit raised red flags about the close relationship between the consultant and the top elected official, who was a key decision-maker in the purchase of the military aircraft.

Former President John Dramani Mahama was one of the government officials implicated in the scandal with the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, alleging that the “Government Official One” label in the scandal was the former president.

Amidu in an epistle while in office as Special Prosecutor revealed how John Mahama allegedly used his office to guarantee for Ghanaian passport for his brother Samuel Adam Mahama.

Martin Amidu said, “amongst other reasons for the letter to the said Ministry, the Samuel Adam Mahama’s elder brother of full blood who without a doubt and the evidence available to this Office answers to the description of the elected Government Official 1 allegedly granted a denial interview to the Daily Graphic which published same on June 20, 2020, fortunately containing suspected admissions that he is the elected Government Official 1 referred to in the UK judgement.

“Serving appointees of this government have been unable to obtain the voice recording of this interview to enable the Office to confront the former president with his own admissions in the interview as answering to the description to the brother of Samuel Adam Mahama as Intermediary 5.”

John Mahama however denied the allegations and charged Amidu, who was in office by then, to prosecute him if he was indeed the said Government Official One.


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