The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has stated that his office is engaged in an ongoing investigation into allegations of bribery made by Airbus SE against some officials of the government of Ghana during the erstwhile John Dramanani Mahama era.
The Airbus scandal in which the European aircraft manufacturer made allegations of bribery payments against some government officials in respect of the sale and purchase of military aircraft by the state, was the subject of investigation under Martin Amidu, Ghana’s former Special Prosecutor.
In his first half-year report since succeeding the former special prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng has indicated that his office is engaged in a multinational investigation into the Airbus scandal.
“Investigation into alleged bribery by Airbus SE, a European multinational aerospace corporation, in respect of the sale and purchase of military aircrafts for the Republic is ongoing. The Office is engaged with INTERPOL and the central authorities of the United Kingdom and the United States under the mutual legal assistance regime,” the Office of the Special Prosecutor said in the half-year report released in August 2022.
John Mahama found as person of interest
Ghana was named among five countries in which Airbus, an aviation giant, paid or attempted to pay millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for contracts, leading a court in Britain to slap a fine of £5 billion on the company.
In court documents and hearings in the UK, Airbus admitted five counts of failing to prevent bribery, using a network of secret agents to pay large-scale backhanders to officials in foreign countries, including Ghana, to land high-value contracts.
Investigations by UK officials revealed that Airbus, through a relative of a certain “Government Official One,” received bribes from Airbus through a supposed “intermediary 5” with whom he shared family relations.
After making suggestions in a corruption risk assessment report sent to parliament on the Agyapa Royalties Agreement that John Mahama was the supposed ‘’Government Official 1,” the former president in November 2020 dared Martin Amidu to investigate him if he was a person of interest.
This caused Martin Amidu to issue a response in which he maintained Mr Mahama’s implication in the scandal.
Mr. Amidu in a response dated November 9, 2020 stood his grounds.
“In view of the fact that I was making as assessment report on Agyapa and ‘Other Related Matters Thereto,’ I found it necessary to make observations on other matters related thereto on which discrete analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessments had been undertaken leading to investigations to demonstrate the essence of anti-corruption assessments.
“The evidence gathered in the case of the Republic v Samuel Adams Mahama & Others, point to one and only person as Government Official One.
“His Excellency former President John Dramani Mahama, the former Vice President of Ghana, is elected Government Official One.
“The evidence also discloses that John Dramani Mahama described as Former President, of Plot Number 6 North Street Tesano, P.O Box 104, Accra was the first guarantor with Alfred Abdulai Mahama falsely described as a Civil Servant also of Plot No. 6 North Street, Tesano Po Bo Box AN 104, Accra as the second guarantor of the application of Samuel Adam Mahama described as Project Manager also of Plot Number 6 North Street Tesano, Po Box AN 104, Accra for a Ghana passport.
“Former president John Dramani Mahama and his elder brother Alfred Abduali Mahama both knew that Samuel Adam Mahama had not attended the University of Ghana from 6th January 1992 to 4th November 1994 but nonetheless granted the application verifying the statements contained in the application for a Ghanaian [passport. These were all done in furtherance of corruption-related offences.”
Mr Amidu further told John Mahama to be bold and submit himself for investigations regarding the scandal.
“Your Excellency, the wise and the brave former President John Dramani Mahama, man-up, wise-up, and be brave enough to come with two lawyers of your own choice to be cautioned and interrogated by this Office to demonstrate your valour and wisdom as not being the elected Government Official 1 and also as not being the first guarantor to Samuel Adam Mahama’s passport application,” Mr Amidu said.
As fate would have it, Martin Amidu resigned in November 2020 leaving the Airbus investigations in the hands of his predecessor who has also taken interest in the matter.