The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has refuted any wrongdoing in the Airbus SE bribery scandal by a Crown Court at Southwark in the United Kingdom (UK), saying the government officials at the time, followed the procurement laws and received the necessary legal opinion of the then Attorney General, Martin A.B.K Amidu.
According to the party, there is nowhere in the judgment, indicating that the transactions, as well as the processes preceding the purchase of the aircraft, offended any law whatsoever.
Interestingly, the former AG, under whose watch the aircraft was purchased, is now the Special Prosecutor (SP), the one that has been tasked by President Akufo-Addo, to investigate the bribery allegation, leading to the Executive Secretary of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulamana Braimah, citing a clear case of conflict of interest.
“Third, there is no finding in any of the approved judgments that the transactions and the processes leading to same violated any law. In fact, the first transaction under which success-based commission was paid by Airbus to their intermediaries, adhered to the Public Procurement law and received the legal opinion of the then-Attorney General [Martin ABK Amidu], before it was finally approved by the August House of Parliament.
Additionally, there is no finding in any of the approved judgments, that the government of Ghana or any government official, engaged the services of or paid any monies to any intermediary relative to the said transactions.
Therefore, any infractions arising from the engagement and payment of intermediaries by Airbus SE, are entirely its business”, the Communication Officer of the party, Sammy Gyamfi, said during a press conference yesterday in Accra.
A judgment from the Crown Court at Southwark, said: “The fifth count alleges that contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, 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. 53.
“Between 2009 and 2015, an Airbus defence company engaged Intermediary 5, a close relative of a high-ranking elected Ghanaian government official (Government Official 1) as its BP in respect of the proposed sale of three military transport aircraft to the government of Ghana.
“A number of Airbus employees knew that Intermediary 5 was a close relative of Government Official 1, who was a key decision-maker in respect of the proposed sales. A number of Airbus employees made or promised success-based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5.
“False documentation was created by or with the agreement of Airbus employees in order to support and disguise these payments. The payments were intended to induce or reward ‘improper favour’ by Government Official 1 toward Airbus. Payments were eventually stopped due to the arrangement failing the due diligence processes required by the Liquidation Committee.”
The NDC whose 2020 presidential candidate was Vice President and President John Dramani Mahama between 2009-2015, (the period in which the incident occurred) and has been asked by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to come clear on the scandal, said there is nowhere in the statement that suggests “that the government of Ghana or any government official, engaged the services of or paid any monies to any intermediary relative to the said transactions.
Therefore, any infractions arising from the engagement and payment of intermediaries by Airbus SE are entirely its business”.
The Communication Officer told journalists at their party headquarters that the Airbus case was about “legal infractions by employees and agents of the company emphasizing the fact that foreign companies have their own way of doing things.
The nature of the infractions committed by Airbus SE as contained in the approved judgments are such that, the government of Ghana could not have known at the time of the transaction”.
Away from the Airbus scandal, the NDC jumped on the missing 500 excavators and the leaked galamsey video, involving bigwigs of the party, including the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, who doubles as Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, suspended vice chairman of the NPP in the Central region, Horace Ekow Ewusi and General Secretary, John Boadu.
Sammy Gyamfi, who claimed the NDC has been vindicated over the issue said: “You would recall that at the fourth edition of our Moment of Truth series, we decried how the fight against “galamsey” was being undermined by top NPP and government officials and called for the complete overhaul of the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining.
Sadly, it has taken the recent case of the missing 500 excavators to awaken the nation to the reality of the concerns we raised back then”.
The tape among others reveals schemes by the party bigwigs to give concessions to Chairman Wontumi to raise galamsey money to finance the party’s activities while pretending to be fighting the menace.
“This is how low we have sunk as a country as a result of the greed and selfishness of the ruling NPP and corrupt Akufo-Addo government.
The NDC said President Akufo-Addo aside his flowery rhetoric, has never been committed to the fight against illegal mining and corruption. It said the latest expose goes to confirm their long-held view that, the President so-called fight against the menace “is a ruse, calculated to appropriate the “galamsey” trade for NPP and government functionaries”, he said.
Any government worth its name would have by now sacked or caused the arrest of the Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng who has become both a player in and an enabler of the illicit “galamsey” trade”.
He continued “It would be a complete waste of time to call for the dissolution of the Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining and all anti-galamsey task-force such as “Operation Vanguard” and “Galamstop” because as for this President, he sees no evil and hears no evil when it comes to thievery and corruption.
But all those involved in the stealing of the 500 excavators and the stinking rot that has engulfed Akufo-Addo’s fraudulent fight against “galamsey must know, that the day of accountability and reckoning is fast approaching”.