Justice Emile Short was on the Super Morning Show, Wednesday.
The respected statesman and anti-graft campaigner said Cynthia Lamptey – Mr Amidu’s deputy – is clothed with the appropriate legal mandate to act on behalf of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
The suggestion by the former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) follows a claim by a member of the Legal Team for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Edudzie Tamakloe, that Mr Amidu, then the Attorney General and now, Special Prosecutor, gave legal clearance for the purchase of military aircraft from the now scandalised aircraft dealers, Airbus.
“Even if he [Mr Amidu] is not able to handle the matter, let’s not forget that there is a Deputy Special Prosecutor and there are other lawyers within the office. The office is not just Martin Amidu… I think we should keep that in mind,” he said Wednesday on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has tasked the Office of the Special Prosecutor to unravel the identities of Ghanaian public officials said to have been engaged in the bribery scandal with Airbus.
The action by the President was taken after Ghana was named on January 31, 2020, as one of five countries in which the planemaker paid or attempted to pay millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for contracts, leading a court in Britain to slap a fine of £3 billion on the company.
In court documents and hearings in the United Kingdom, Airbus admitted five counts of failing to prevent bribery, using a network of secret agents to pay large-scale backhanders to officials in foreign countries, including Ghana, to land high-value contracts.
The document also alleged that contrary to section 7 of the UK’s Bribery Act 2010, Airbus failed to prevent persons associated with it from “bribing others concerned with the purchase of military transport aircraft by the Government of Ghana, where the said bribery was intended to obtain or retain business or advantage in the conduct of business.”
It also stated that between 2009 and 2015 an Airbus defence company engaged a close relative of a high-ranking elected Ghanaian Government official as an intermediary or agent in respect of the proposed sale of three military transport aircraft to the Government of Ghana.
The January 31 judgment further revealed that: “Airbus, through one of its Spanish defence subsidiaries, conducted two campaigns to sell its C-295 military transport aircraft to the Government of Ghana: the first campaign ran from 2009 to 2011, the second from 2013 to 2015. Intermediary 5, a UK national with no prior expertise in the aerospace industry, acted as the BP for Airbus in both. Company D was the corporate vehicle through which Intermediary 5 and his associates provided services to Airbus.
Speaking on the matter on the ‘Corruption Watch’ segment on the Super Morning Show, the retired High Court judge said he is confident in Martin Amidu-led Office of the Special Prosecutor to successfully probe the scandal.
He said Mr Amidu himself has proven over the years to be a ruthless anti-graft campaigner and hence will deliver on the President’s directive to unravel the names of the government officials involved in the matter.
Amidu’s track record
“He’s demonstrated his competence and his independence and so I have no doubt or whatsoever that he has the ability the integrity and independence of mind to be able to handle a case like this,” said Justice Emile Short.