The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has sent out an invitation to four people to make themselves available to assist in the ongoing investigation into an alleged act of corruption in the purchase of three aircraft from Airbus SE for Ghana.
According to the Special Prosecutor, upon completion of preliminary investigation, his office will require Samuel Mahama, who he describes as a brother of former President John Mahama; Philip Sean Middlemiss; Sarah Davis and Sarah Furneaux, all British nationals, to come and answer some questions on the various roles they allegedly played in the sale and purchase of the aircraft.
Background to the probe
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.
These investigations are expected to be conducted in collaboration with UK authorities, according to a statement from the presidency.
Payments in Ghana
In the case of Ghana, the 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.
Although no names were listed by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has come out to insist that former President John Mahama is the person identified as the “elected Government Official 1″ named in US and UK court documents.