The Attorney General has officially written to the Senior Fraud Office (SFO) of the United Kingdom to help unravel the names involved in the controversial Airbus scandal.
A Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, said the government was bent on pursuing the Airbus scandal to unravel the faces behind the deal to save the image of Ghana.
The European aerospace giant, Airbus, confessed to paying bribes in Ghana and other countries between 2011 and 2015 in a corruption investigation of its business deals dating back to more than a decade.
Last month, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo referred the matter to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigations.
But even before the Special Prosecutor completes its work, the Deputy Minister said the government wanted to know the faces behind the deal.
“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 unravel the names of the officials in the scandal,” he said at the opening ceremony of a two-day conference organised by the Attorney General Alliance Africa.
Court documents obtained by theghanareport.com showed that Europe’s largest plane maker has been fined 3 billion pounds for greasing the palms of public officials and fixers over a string of hidden payments as part of a pattern of worldwide corruption to facilitate the sales of its wares.
Ghana between 2011 and 2015 purchased three Airbus C295 from the company as part of an effort to augment and modernise the fleet of the Ghana Armed Forces.
The first order of the military aeroplane arrived in Ghana on November 17, 2011, followed by a second on March 19, 2012. The last order came in on December 4, 2015.
In November 2014, President John Dramani Mahama announced that Ghana would acquire an additional C295, in addition to other aircraft, including five Super Tucanos, Mi-17s and four Z-9s.
According to the court document, between 2009 and 2015 an Airbus defence company engaged an unnamed person, only identified as Intermediary 5, a close relative of a high ranking elected Ghana government official (also not named but referred to as Government Official 1), as its business partner in respect of the proposed sale of three aircraft to the government of Ghana.
“A number of ofAirbus employees knew that Intermediary five was a close relative of Government Official 1, a key decision-maker in respect of the sales.
However, “several Airbus employees made or promised success based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5,” the report said.
NPP response to scandal
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) had suggested that former President, John Dramani Mahama, was the elected government official unnamed in the recent Airbus SE scandal.
According to the party “at this moment, allegedly, all fingers point to him and one of his brothers. His long-lost brother who he found in the UK”.
This claim was sharply rebutted by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).