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Government writes to SFO for identities of officials involved in Airbus scandal

The Government of Ghana through the office of the Attorney General has officially written to the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom demanding the identities of Ghanaian officials involved in the Airbus scandal.

Government is also demanding further details on the transaction and judgment.

According to a Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, government is determined to pursue the Airbus scandal to its logical conclusion to clear the image of Ghana.

Mr. Dame was speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day conference organised by the Attorney General Alliance Africa.

“The key government officials of Ghana who negotiated illicitly for fraud to get three aircraft for Ghana have maintained utter silence about the same as if there were no such transactions 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 utter silence. There was a reprehensible inference to the explicit findings of the court. At least there was a Vice President who transformed into a President during the period in question. While maintaining his silence contrary to tenet of accountability to the people, probity, and integrity, he is rather remarkably campaigning to 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 and I’m not unmindful of the opportunity to be exploited in gathering such information by the government of Ghana from the relevant countries. However, I am of the respective view that in the spirit of accountability to the people, probity, integrity and the transparency, one would have expected that these government officials who negotiated this deal will self-report themselves and voluntarily support investigations directed by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. We have written to the Serious Fraud Office to help unravel the names of the officials in the scandal,” said Godfred Dame.

Background

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.

The scandal caused a political storm in Ghana over accusations of Airbus payments to a relative of a government official in connection with the purchase of military planes.

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) stated that the said agent had no aerospace experience, having previously worked in football merchandising and as a facilities manager.

It did not say what the agent, who had been helped by two unnamed British television actors, did with the money.

However, the governing New Patriotic Party, (NPP) alleged that the said government official 1 is former President John Dramani Mahama.

Response from NDC

Meanwhile, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was in power at the time, has denied the claims.

The party in a statement signed by former Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong argued that media reports on the matter did not capture the true reflection of the approved judgment of the case in the UK.

“The reports alleging that Airbus SE paid bribes during the administration of President John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama are false, misleading and do not reflect the Approved Judgment. Indeed, the Approved Judgment of the Crown Court of Southwark approving the DPA between Airbus and the UK Serious Fraud Office does not allege that any payment was made by Airbus to any Ghanaian Government official,” the statement said.

Source; Citinewsroom

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