Some individuals and anti-corruption groups have taken the Special Prosecutor Mr Martin Amidu to the cleaners for his decision to rescue former President John Dramani Mahama on the Airbus bribery scandal ahead of the December 7, 2020 general election.
Social media was yesterday flooded with condemnation from many Ghanaians including the President of IMANI Africa Franklin Cudjoe vehemently criticizing the Special Prosecutor’s pronouncement that he was temporarily halting investigation of Mr Mahama.
Consequently, they entreated Mr Amidu to immediately investigate the former President on the bribery scandal.
Mr Amidu decided to shelve interrogation of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate due to the upcoming election.
Even though he conformed Mr Mahama as the ‘Government Official 1’, who together with his biological brother Samuel Adam Mahama also known as Samuel Adam Foster, was reported to have taken a kickback of over €3.9 million, the Special Prosecutor indicated that he was unable to question him because of his position as the leader of the biggest opposition party.
“The only reason the former President has not been invited for interrogation is the fact that he got himself insurance as the Presidential candidate of the other largest political party in Ghana and prudence dictated that the interrogation be held in abeyance during this election season.
“The former President has also not offered to make any voluntary statement to this office,” he added.
Mr Amidu stated these as part of his observations in the corruption risk assessment report on the Agyapa Royalties deal, which he submitted to the Office of the President on October 16, 2020.
However, President of IMANI Africa Mr Franklin Cudjoe has described as untenable, Mr Amidu’s decision to put on ice, the probing of former President Mahama over his role in the Airbus Scandal.
In a post on his social media handles, the IMANI Boss also described Mr Amidu’s reasons as flawed.
However, Mr Franklin Cudjoe commended the Special Prosecutor for a good job done on the Agyapa deal.
“The Special Prosecutor gives John Mahama a pass over Airbus. His reasons for staying proceedings are untenable. Agyapa dierr e do well,” he posted on social media.
Many Ghanaians are questioning why Mr Amidu decided to assess the Agyapa deal and released what some have described as a damning report on it against government a few days to the elections but decided to shelve investigations on the former President.
Ghana was listed among five countries in which the biggest European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, paid or attempted to pay millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for contracts.
The bribes or attempted bribes led to a court in Britain slapping a fine of £3 billion on the company.
The company admitted the bribery claims.
Court documents had shown that Airbus was slapped with five counts namely 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 International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) in July issued a Red Notice for Samuel Adam Foster aka Samuel Adam Mahama in connection with his role in the Airbus bribery scandal.
He is being sought for allegedly accepting a bribe to influence a public officer (Government Official 1) and acting in collaboration with same for private gain.
A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.
Ghana was one of five countries where Airbus, the European 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 £3 billion on the company.
In court documents and hearings, 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 scheme was run by a unit at Airbus’ French headquarters, which Tom Enders, its one-time CEO, reportedly called “bullshit castle”.
According to the report, there are six key actors involved in the scandal with respect to Ghana.
Investigators from the UK’s SFO identified them only as Government Official 1 (high ranking and elected), Intermediary 5 (British national and close relative of Government Official 1), Company D (corporate vehicle for Intermediary 5 – shareholder), Intermediary 6 (British national and associate of Intermediary 5), Intermediary 7 (British national and associate of Intermediary 5), as well as Intermediary 8 (Spanish company and front for Intermediary 5).