The Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has said that once former government officials, who have been cited in the stinking Airbus scandal, swore an oath to abide by the Constitution, they owe it a duty to come clear on the issues before asking the people to vote them back to power.
According to him, the Airbus scandal, in which officials of the disgraced European aircraft manufacturing giant admitted paying about 5 million Euros in bribes to past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government officials, is so serious that Ghanaians have to demand accountability from those being accused before they are allowed to seek the people’s mandate.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in documents sent to court quoted at least 5 million Euros as payment of kickbacks to a top Ghanaian official through an intermediary who is a close relative of “a high-ranking elected Ghanaian government official” during the Mahama administration.
There are six key actors involved in the corruption-infested case regarding Ghana and the UK investigators from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) have lined them up 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).
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has categorically stated that the Government Official 1 is former President Mahama and has asked him to ‘clear’ himself on the findings of the UK court.
Addressing the 2nd Attorney General Alliance – Africa (AGA-Africa) Conference and the Attorneys General Visit to Ghana during 2020: Beyond the Return yesterday, Mr. Dame said, “It is remarkable that in spite of the clear uncontroverted facts of the case, the key government officials in Ghana, who negotiated the illicitly procured three aircraft for Ghana, have maintained utter silence about same, as if there was no such transaction or the principal actors do not exist.”
“Many of the senior government officials involved in the illicit procurement of the aircraft are still around but continue to maintain a deafening silence or reprehensible indifference to the explicit findings of the Crown Court in England,” he added.
Government Official 1
He said, “At least, there was a Vice-President who transformed into a President during the period in question. Whilst maintaining his silence, contrary to the tenets of accountability to the people, probity and integrity, he is, rather remarkably, campaigning for votes from the same people he does not want to open up to on the Airbus scandal.”
“There was a Minister for Defence in the period in question. There was an Attorney General at all material times. I am not mindful of the opportunity for mutual legal assistance to be exploited in gathering information by the Government of Ghana from the relevant countries, and indeed, I am aware the Attorney General is taking action in that regard,” he added.
He said he was ‘respectfully’ suggesting that “in the spirit of accountability to the people, probity, integrity and transparency, one would have expected those key government officials who negotiated and/or were involved in the impugned transaction to self-report and voluntarily cooperate with the investigations directed by the President of Ghana.”
“From the Preamble to our Constitution, probity and accountability are the bedrock for the democratic principles on which the affairs of state are run. Having previously sworn an oath to defend the Constitution and its principles, it is ironic that the past government officials in question will not open up to the people on the role they played in a transaction the subject matter of a criminal matter in a British court.”
Airbus scandal Ex government officials must start talking – Deputy Attorney GeneralVolume 90%
He said, “Since the actors are unwilling to explain themselves, a letter has been written by the AG to the UK Serious Fraud Office requesting the information. So the processes have been triggered for such information to be given.”
“The key actors involved clearly are around and the purchase of the aircraft for the military in Ghana could not have taken place without the knowledge of the President at that time I am saying at that time, Mr. Mahama was the Vice-President who later transformed into a President so during the period in question, he was the Vice-President and went on to become President and definitely he cannot say that he was not aware,” he added.
“There is a referral by the President to the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Special Prosecutor will unravel the full circumstances; if the key actors involve will not come out to explain their role or circumstances before the people, the legal process will be pursued to ensure that they are held to account,” he stated.
The AGA-Africa has country coordinators in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia and has facilitated programmes in the member countries, as well as in Zimbabwe, Egypt, Mauritius and Mozambique.
They have been working with Ministries of Justice, Attorneys General, Solicitors General, Public Prosecution Authorities, the police, and security agencies to facilitate the sharing of practical knowledge on crimes including, but not limited to, Trafficking In Persons, Anti-Wildlife Trafficking, Cybercrime; Money Laundering; Counterfeit Food and Drugs; and Gender-Based Violence.