Members of pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) group, ‘Fixing The Country Movement’, have expressed their deep concern over the sluggish pace of the Airbus Corruption investigations, calling for urgent action.
A statement released by the convener of the group, Ernest Kofi Owusu-Bempah Bonsu, said it has been over three years since the Airbus scandal broke, calling on the Office of Special Prosecutor to expedite processes in bringing the matter to a close.
“Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, who found the corruption suspicions credible enough to initiate an investigation in February 2020, summoned four ‘suspects,’ including Philip Middlemiss, Sarah Furneaux, Leanne Davis, and Samuel Adam Mahama. The current Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyabeng, has publicly stated that he is continuing to investigate the matter,” the statement said.
The group has, therefore, given a 14-day ultimatum to the Special Prosecutor to update the country on the actions taken.
Airbus SE, a global provider of civilian and military aircraft, agreed to pay hefty penalties exceeding $3.9 billion to resolve foreign bribery charges in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.
The charges stemmed from the company’s involvement in a scheme to use third-party business partners to bribe government officials and airline executives worldwide.
Court documents and admissions revealed that between 2008 and 2015, Airbus systematically engaged in a scheme to offer bribes to decision-makers and influencers, including foreign officials, in order to gain unfair advantages in business transactions involving both private and state-owned enterprises.
According to Fixing the Country Movement, “Startlingly, court records made public on January 31, 2020, by British and American authorities confirmed that an Airbus subsidiary specializing in the defense sector employed the brother of a high-ranking Ghanaian elected official (referred to as “Government Official 1″), as well as a friend of the brother and another individual as commercial partners in the sale of three military transport aircraft (model C295) to Ghana.”
“The intermediaries between Airbus and the former President of Ghana, John Mahama, were identified as Philip Middlemiss, a well-known British actor, Leanne Davis, and Samuel Adam Mahama, the brother of John Mahama,” the group said in the statement.
It added: “Remarkably, ‘Government Official 1’ was known for collecting bribes, and shortly after the election of the incoming Government and before its swearing-in, Airbus reached an agreement with the brother of ‘Government Official 1,’ identified as “Individual 1” in the US version of court documents.
“The British judge presiding over the case concluded that Airbus sought to gain an “undue favor” from a member of the Ghanaian government through these kickbacks, resulting in Ghana’s purchase of three Airbus C295 military transport aircraft during the Mills/Mahama presidency (two in 2011 and one in 2015),” it emphasised.
The statement indicated that the UK court documents also revealed that the intermediaries established a company in Ghana in December 2009, and a similarly named company was set up in the United Kingdom in February of the following year. The Ghanaian company was owned by Mr. Mahama’s brother and a British television actor who publicly claimed to be John Mahama’s “best friend.”
In light of this, Fixing the Country Movement has threatened to take action and occupy the office of Former President John Mahama, should their 14-day ultimatum expire without action.
“Should no action be taken within this timeframe, Fixing the Country Movement will lead a citizens’ coalition to gather and protest in front of the office of former President John Mahama.
“As concerned citizens, we demand a thorough inquiry into the Airbus Corruption scandal, firmly believing that former President Mahama must answer critical questions regarding his involvement,” the group stressed.
The Fixing the Country Movement further urged that the “nonchalant attitude surrounding this Airbus matter gives way to genuine and swift action.”