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If Mahama had no hand in the shameful Airbus scandal, why can’t he have a ‘showdown’ with Amidu?

John Dramani Mahama John Mahama121234567 John Dramani Mahama

Tue, 3 Oct 2023 Source: K. Badu

It is quite ironic that while the erudite English law luminaries are maintaining that Airbus deliberately paid bribes to some selected countries including Ghana with the view to obtaining contracts, the Ghanaian counterparts, many of whom are the indigenes of Akan, Ewe, Dagomba, Dagarti, Frafra, Kusase, Gonja, Mamprusi, Sisala, Mossi, etc., are contending vehemently that the said payment should rather be called commission and not bribe.

“Airbus hired - and disguised about 5 million euros in payments to - a close relative of a government official in Ghana with no aerospace experience in connection with the sale of the planes, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said.”

It is quite disheartening to see public officials unabashedly conspiring and swindling the nation of billions of Cedis to the detriment of the poor and disadvantaged Ghanaians.

If you recall, a few years ago, it came to light that Europe’s aerospace multinational Airbus deliberately paid huge sums of bribes to a few countries including Ghana to secure contracts during the Mills/Mahama administration between 2009 and 2015.

Corruption allegations were leveled against government officials in the acquisition of three military aircraft by the government of Ghana between 2009 and 2015.

Given the seriousness of the alleged Airbus bribery scandal, President Akufo-Addo dutifully instructed the then Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu to probe into the grave corruption scandal.

Following an investigation into the seemingly embarrassing scandal, the Office of the Special Prosecutor finally concluded that the said Government Official 1 in the Airbus bribery scandal was the former president and the 2020 flagbearer of NDC, John Dramani Mahama.

The report, however, concluded that since we were in the election period and the said protagonist was a presidential candidate, the Office of the Special Prosecutor was not in a position to take any immediate action.

“The only reason the former President [Mahama] has not been invited for interrogation (despite all threats from some of his followers and lawyers) is the fact that he got himself an insurance as the Presidential candidate of the other largest political party in Ghana,” he said.

The Ghanaian officials' involvement in the Airbus bribery scandal remains the most single shameful and disgusting scandal of international proportion in the history of Ghanaian politics.

As a matter of fact, in any equitable jurisdiction, the suspects of the revoltingly ugly Airbus bribery scandal would have faced the full force of the law without fear or favour.

Another area of interest however was the seemingly baseless debate that surrounded the identity of the elected government official one, who was cited in the report.

Whilst the critics were arguing somewhat vigorously that the said official could be a prominent member of the opposition NDC, the diehard supporters of the main suspect were incredibly denying such an allegation.

Interestingly though, back then, the governance experts maintained that only three people could fit into the description of the said government official, who was mentioned in the Airbus bribery scandal.

According to the experts, the first suspect should be the first gentleman of the land.

So, based on the expert's apt description, the first gentleman during the period 2009 to 2012 should have been the late President Mills.

However, according to the report, the said elected government official was still in power in 2015, while President Mills had sadly departed from the earth.

So, the late Mills could not have been a government official.

The next possible suspect, according to the experts, should be the vice president of the land.

The former president and the 2020 NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama fits that description.

The governance experts stressed further that the other person who could fit into the description of the government official one, mentioned in the Airbus corruption scandal should be the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Nevertheless, according to the experts, the CDS between 2009 and 2015 was not an elected government official. So he could not have been the said government official cited in the Airbus corruption scandal.

In practice, therefore, it should not take superior powers of the mind or a professorial in rocket science to arrive at the identity of the said government official, mentioned in the shameful Airbus corruption scandal.

What appeared much more bizarre though, was the offending organisation, Airbus, somehow admitted under oath to paying huge bribes to the representatives of the countries involved and consequently fined a humongous penalty of over £3 billion.

Interestingly, however, the main culprit, who was a top government official one, cited in the report, was, and still is, a prominent member of the opposition NDC. So, the political gimmicks and the seeming denials by the vociferous NDC faithful are nothing out of the ordinary, so to speak.

The NDC loyalists' argument that the Airbus payment was a commission and not a bribe is out of order.

If, indeed, the payment to the Ghanaian representatives was a mere commission, how then would Airbus agree to pay a staggering penalty of over £3 billion?

The opposition NDC vociferous communicators should stop throwing dust into our eyes: Airbus indeed paid massive bribes to some officials including Ghanaian officials to gain a trading advantage over its competitors.

As it stands, the top government official has an opportunity to answer the bribery and corruption charges being leveled against him by the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office before the 2024 general elections.

Columnist: K. Badu
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