The opposition NDC has rejected claims that the Mahama-led administration was corrupted in the Airbus scandal, insisting the unnamed government official in the Crown Court ruling did not take bribe.
“First, no ex-government official of Ghana is cited in any part of the approved judgments for receiving a bribe or committing any offense,” Sammy Gyamfi National Communication Officer of the party asserted.
The England’s Crown Court in Southwark in its recent judgement approved a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) between the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, a subsidiary of Airbus, after investigations exposed massive bribery scandals involving the aircraft manufacturer in breach of the Bribery Act 2010.
Airbus was found guilty of getting involved in some €5 million which was disguised as a commission to an intermediary – “intermediary 5” – engaged by the company to promote its proposal to sell two C295 aircraft to Ghana. The court found out that the said intermediary was related to an elected Ghanaian government official it codenamed “government official 1”.
The governing NPP is making political capital out of it, suggesting that the unnamed government official is former President Mahama and believed he was privy to the arrangement and possibly benefitted unduly from the transactions.
But Sammy Gyamfi emphatically rejected this position in his statement to the media on Thursday. “In fact, not even the unnamed ‘government official 1’ is cited in the report or approved judgement for demanding or receiving a bribe or for committing any offense.”
According to him, the court’s judgement was clear that Airbus on their own accord, engaged intermediaries or better still hired agents to help them sell military aircrafts to Ghana between the years 2009 and 2015.
Mr. Gyamfi who is a lawyer by profession said the use of agents or business partners is common practice with multinational companies, but the approved judgments held that Airbus failed to follow OECD rules in appointing their business intermediaries.
“Whereas, there have been claims that success-based commissions were paid to agents of Airbus with the intent to induce or reward improper favour by the said ‘government official 1’, it is instructive to note, that there is no indication either in the approved judgments of the Crown Court of Southwark or the District Court of Columbia that any such inducement took place.”
He stressed that unlike countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan, where the UK SFO made findings on how bribes were actually disbursed to senior executives of Airline companies, the UK SFO would have stated that bribes were paid to the said “government official 1” if they had found so in their investigations.
“Instead, they carefully chose the words “intended to induce” without more. And there is no indication that this intention was actualized,” the NDC Communications Officer pointed out.
“Therefore, to the extent that the said “government official 1” is not cited for any offense in any of the approved judgements, his or her identity is totally immaterial.
“Second, there is no finding in any of the approved judgments that Ghana lost any money through the said transactions. No such finding is contained in any of the approved judgments. The fact is, government of Ghana paid fair commercial value for the aircrafts and was not in any way shortchanged. Indeed, the Ghana Airforce conducted its own independent technical and financial evaluation of the transactions in line with best practices of the Military.
“Third, there is no finding in any of the approved judgements that the transactions and the processes leading to same, violated any law.”
Sammy Gyamfi therefore accused the NPP’s Director of Communications, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, of being in “indecent haste” to pass judgement on the NDC, a move he described as “pathetic and most reckless to say the least”.
Source: 3news.com | Ghana