Deputy Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah, has petitioned the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, to expedite action on the controversial Airbus SE Scandal.
According to him, the Airbus corruption is the biggest corruption case ever, and it’s been over a year since the OSP took on the case.
However, he indicated that the “public is still in the dark” as to where the Special Prosecutor is with investigations.
Furthermore, Mr Bempah revealed that payment of bribes was indeed made and received, and the “biggest beneficiary as alleged” was former President John Mahama, codenamed as “Government Official 1” in the US Court documents.
“I write to you to officially call for urgent action on the Airbus SE corruption… Whereas I do not doubt the competence of your office to get to the bottom of this massive international corruption, I respectfully submit and appeal to your good office to take immediate action in helping the people of Ghana to put this matter behind us.”Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah
Justifying his reasons, Mr Bempah indicated that Airbus SE has admitted to paying nearly $4 billion to resolve foreign bribery and other charges with authorities in the United States, Britain and France.
Additionally, he stated that the aircraft maker has also admitted using intermediaries over several years to bribe government officials and airline executives in order to win lucrative contracts the world over, including in Ghana.
“Again, the company admitted hiring the brother of a top elected Ghanaian official as its consultant in the sale of the aircraft. Also, Airbus confessed paying the said consultant through a third party when its Compliance Unit raised red flags about the close relationship between the consultant and the top elected official who was a key decision-maker in the purchase of the military aircraft…
“Rightly so, your good office has signaled its intention to delve into the matter.”Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah
Airbus documents falsified
Furthermore, Mr Bempah explained that documents on the Airbus were falsified in making the payments to disguise the payment of bribes to “Government Official 1”.
He equally stated that “Government Official 1” is on the record of the Court as the recipient of the corrupt proceeds from this transaction.
“Paragraph 136 of the US Court documents actually described Government official 1 as having a reputation for bribe-taking… It reads: ‘Government Official 1’ had such a reputation as a prolific bribe-collector that within three weeks of the election of the incoming Government, AND BEFORE IT WAS SWORN IN, Airbus reached an agreement with brother of ‘Government Official 1′, described in the US version of Court documents as Individual 1’.”Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah
Moreover, the NPP’s deputy communications director noted that everyone who is privy to the core details of the series of court documents published by the Department of Justice of the United States, and the Serious Fraud Office of the United Kingdom cannot “allege ignorance” of the persons who have brought the nation into this “international shame”.
In light of this, he lamented that it is most unfortunate that the Special Prosecutor’s “good office” has, for political expediency, treated Mr Mahama with “kid’s gloves”.
“Like most Ghanaians, I have grown sceptical about the lip service being paid to such a huge international corruption involving our former President.”Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah
Moreover, Mr Bempah conceded that although he may not be a lawyer, he suspects if those countries can benefit in fines from Airbus for corruption which the country was the real victim, if the OSP’s investigations yields success, it can create an even bigger case for Ghana.
This, he emphasized, will help the country also seek compensation from Airbus for the damage caused to the national treasury.
To this end, he underscored that the “nonchalant attitude” being deployed on the matter by the Special Prosecutor ought to give way to real action.