Airbus Scandal: ‘I will not settle on Mahama as govt official 1’ – Okoe Boye

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The New Patriotic Party (NPP), earlier this week, openly accused former President John Mahama of complicity in the Airbus bribery scandal.

On Monday [February 3, 2020], the ruling party called on former President John Dramani Mahama to respond to allegations that an individual close to a top government official was bribed by Airbus between 2011 and 2015 in the now-famous scandal.

All Fingers Point To Mahama

Addressing a press conference in Accra, Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, Communications Director for the NPP said “the companies used to receive the bribe money have been named. The shareholder who is very close to the former President has been named. Document falsification, kickbacks, lies and overpayments are what the Airbus scandal is all about. And it appears John Mahama is deeply involved.”

Adding that, “he cannot continue to hide behind his party members including a former Attorney-General. Of course, we are all aware that he hates answering questions on corruption, but answer he must, because at this moment, all fingers point to him and one of his brothers.”

Airbus Saga – UK Version

Reports of a bribery scandal emerged over the weekend citing Ghana, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Taiwan as destinations where Airbus, the largest aerospace multinational in Europe, admitted that it paid huge bribes in order to secure contracts.

The Crown Court at Southwark in the United Kingdom passed judgment on 31st January 2020, between the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, in which the European multinational aerospace corporation was fined $3.9 billion for the payment of bribes to secure deals in the five countries named Ghana.

The London High Court found Airbus guilty and imposed a fine of three billion pounds (£3bn) as penalties.

Airbus was charged with five counts of failing to prevent bribery, having used a network of secret agents to pay large-scale backhanders to officials in foreign countries to land high-value contracts.

In the case of Ghana, the operations were reported to have taken place between 2009 and 2015; during which period John Dramani Mahama served as Vice President and then later as President.

Even though no name was mentioned in the UK Crown Court in Southwark’s ruling, the NPP at a press conference, was categorical that government official 1 is Mahama and has, therefore, asked him to break his silence over the allegation.

GO 1 Exists But Ain’t Mahama

However, Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku constituency, says he will not join the bandwagon of pointing fingers and mentioning names.

Contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Dr Okoe Boye added: “If you access the individuals during 2009 and 2015, some qualify more to be individual 1 than others. I will not be quick to settle on a person but the fact is that the person exists in this country; the people are around; those who did the transaction. Osei Kyei Mensah said he saw a relative of the ex-President, but I will not be quick to say for that matter it is the ex-President (former)”.

It is however not too clear if the NPP MP was being real or just being ironic.

Osei Kyei Mensa’s version

Majority leader Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu a few days ago recalled how the then Minority NPP were pushed aside by the then NDC majority when the Airbus deal was brought to parliament under the Mills-Mahama administration

According to him, the then majority members (the NDC) used their superior numbers in the house to push through the deal despite fierce opposition from the NPP.

“If you look at the indecent haste they rushed the process through, it was awful…We went to the website of this company and saw the price…They had described the specifics of the aeroplanes and said the cost of the CASA, the new one as of 2011 was 25 million dollars if my memory serves me right. And the government then came to say it was 35 million, not dollars but Euro. And that was scary…they said they even had to refurbish the airstairs of the plane and that was about 18 million dollars.”

“So those were some of the things that we raised and they didn’t dispute it. The third-hand plane that they procured the price was higher than a brand new plane! So those were the issues that we raised but as I said, our voices got lost because the government was in a situation to push their way through,” Osei Kyei reportedly said.

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