Airbus scandal: Voting Mahama means electing a fugitive as president – Mustapha Hamid


 


Story by Carlos Afanou






Voting for John Mahama in the December 7 polls means voting for a fugitive as President because the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France are looking for the former Ghanaian leader in connection with the €5 million Airbus scandal, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has warned Ghanaians.



The party’s Deputy National Campaign Manager, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, told journalists at a press conference on Friday, December 4, 2020 that: “Whichever way you look at it, former President John Dramani Mahama has been accused in court documents, appearing in three countries for his personal involvement in an international bribery scandal valued at 5 million euros.


“What this means is that John Mahama could soon face the International Criminal Justice System. This is the man on the ballot paper that will be handed over to you on Monday. He will be presented to you as a presidential candidate”, he noted.


The Minister of Zongo and Inner-city Development warned: “when you choose him, you risk choosing a president who may be a fugitive in France, the UK, and the USA”.


“Prosecutors in all three countries, in striking a deal with Airbus for the fines, made it clear that it will not stop them from pursuing the individuals involved. This means that candidate Mahama risks arrest if he steps anywhere near those shores”, he added.


“Can you imagine a President of the Republic of Ghana with an international arrest warrant on his head? A President who would not be able to travel freely abroad to fight and negotiate for Ghana? That is the risk of voting for John Mahama. The alternative is, indeed, scarier than we all thought,” he added.



Airbus saga


A judgment from the Crown Court at Southwark, UK, indicted Ghana, alleging that contrary to section 7 of the UK’s Bribery Act 2010, Airbus failed to prevent its close associates or persons associated with them 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 advantages in the conduct of business.”


The document stated that the bribery allegation took place between 2009 and 2015 where the European aviation giant engaged the services of a close relative of a high-ranking elected Ghanaian government official who served as an intermediary to facilitate the sale of three military transport aircraft to the government of Ghana.


“A number of Airbus employees knew that the intermediary 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”, the document continued.


Also, the document pointed out that “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 favor” by Government Official 1 toward Airbus.



Payments were eventually stopped due to the arrangement failing the due diligence processes required by the Liquidation Committee.


Ghana’s Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, who resigned from office recently, identified John Mahama as Government Official 1.

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