Come clean on your interest in Airbus scandal – Buaben Asamoa to Martin Amidu
Member of Parliament for the Adentan Constituency, Yaw Buaben Asamoa has called on the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to publicly declare his stance on the Airbus bribery scandal.
On January 31, 2020, Ghana was cited as one of five countries in which global aerospace group, Airbus SE, allegedly bribed or promised payments to senior officials in exchange for business favours between 2009 and 2015, according to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
This led to a record £3 billion in settlement by Airbus with France, the United Kingdom and the United States to avoid corporate criminal charges.
President Nana Akufo-Addo subsequently referred the matter to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigation.
It is worth noting that Martin Amidu was the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice for the Republic of Ghana from January 2011 till January 2012, during which time he raised some concerns about the acquisition of some Embraer aircraft which was being championed by then Vice president John Mahama.
According to the Special Prosecutor, in his then “Amidu Epistles,” the late President Atta-Mills, set up a committee to “investigate the Processes of the Acquisition of Five Aircraft including Embraer 190 Aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces,” a deal which was being championed by then-Vice President John Dramani Mahama.
Speaking on the Point of View on Citi TV, the Adentan legislator called on Martin Amidu to declare his stance so as to make the investigation process credible and trustworthy.
“If that is construed as self-interest then I think Martin will have to come out and deconstruct it for all of us. I think it is for Martin [Amidu] to come out clearly and say that at that stage, I had an interest in these matters because you recall that he is the same person who came up with the Embraer issues and these were quoted at the same time so it is for Martin [Amidu] to deconstruct them quickly and let us move on in the direction that we should go because the investigation has to happen,” Buaben Asamoa added.
Mills Wanted Mahama To Be Investigated over Embraer 190 Deal -Amidu
In October 2012, Martin Amidu, former Attorney General under the Mills administration and “Citizen Vigilante” revealed a sensational matter that nearly rocked the ruling party to its foundation.
According to Mr Amidu, the late President Mills set up a Committee of Enquiry to investigate the acquisition of aircraft for the Armed Forces negotiated by [then Vice President] John Mahama.
John Mahama has not responded to the said allegation.
On 19th February 2009, in his State of the Nation address to Parliament, then-President Mills told Parliament that his government was reviewing the decision to purchase two executive Presidential jets.
“Ghana simply cannot afford the expenditure at this time and we certainly do not need two Presidential Jets,” late President Mills said at the time.
EOCO, others must partner Special Prosecutor to probe Airbus scandal – Majority Leader
The Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu had suggested that the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Attorney General’s Department, Auditor-General’s Office and other state agencies with investigatory powers should partner with the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the Airbus bribery scandal.
Speaking on the Point Blank segment on Eyewitness News, the Majority Leader, who raised concerns over the deal when it was brought before Parliament in 2011, noted that the Special Prosecutor will do a better job with the help of other state security agencies.
Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said, although “the Special Prosecutor is competent enough” to probe the issue, a collaboration with the Attorney General and other security agencies will not be bad.
“If EOCO can also assist the Special Prosecutor because you see the Special Prosecutor can only prosecute when he is furnished with the relevant information. And so I think in this case, the Attorney General’s department, the Special Prosecutor’s office, the EOCO, BNI and the Auditor-General should combine efforts,” he added.