A deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame has questioned why former President John Dramani Mahama was defying the principle of accountability in the airbus case and yet going round the country canvassing for votes to be re-elected as President.
“I cannot reconcile how a person [Mahama] could in defiance of the principle of accountability, not open up to the people of Ghana on a transaction [Airbus] that he himself [supervised] and at the same time going around canvassing votes from the same people of Ghana,” he said.
In a press interaction on the sidelines of the opening of a two-day conference on dealing with transnational crimes organised by the Attorney General Alliance (AGA-Africa) in Accra on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, Mr Yeboah Dame said the Attorney General has also triggered the processes for the United Kingdom’s (UK) Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to name persons involved the Airbus scandal.
According to Mr Yeboah Dame, the AG’s Department was exploring Ghana’s cooperation agreement with the UK and that “a letter has been written by the Attorney General to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) requesting for the information, so the process has been triggered for such information to be given”.
He said the Special Prosecutor would unravel the circumstances surrounding the transaction if the key actors would not want to come out and explain their roles and circumstances before the people, “then the legal process would be pursued to ensure that they account for that.”
Mr Yeboah Dame said:
“I am saying that it is definitely inconsistent with accountability when a person [Mahama] who supervised such a transaction is going round canvassing for votes from the people of Ghana, and yet that same person does not want to open up to the people of Ghana on the transaction, to me it is the height of inconsistency and lack of accountability.”
“the facts in the Airbus Scandal were undisputed. The key government actors who engaged in the transaction are still around. I insist that there was a Vice President who later transformed into a president and he’s around still campaigning to hold public office.”
He said that person, “even if he was not involved, ought to open up to the full facts because definitely the transaction occurred under his supervision.”
Asked if the person [Mahama] has been invited or has been formally reached to provide responses, Mr Yeboah Dame said, “if indeed that person requires the full legal process to be exhausted before he will open up to the facts, that is a different matter, but I’m saying that having taken an oath to defend the constitution…, the major principle which guides the constitution is accountability and integrity. And so if you had held public office, as I am holding now and of course having sworn an oath to defend the constitution if I find myself in such a circumstance, I owe it a duty to explain fully to the people of Ghana, the circumstances surrounding a transaction which has become a subject matter of judgement in the United Kingdom… and a certain company [Airbus] has been fined to the tune of almost 3 billion [pounds], on account of one of the transactions, one of them related to a matter that occurred during your presidency, and the vice presidency of a certain individual.”
Reaction from Mr Mahama’s office
Reacting to the pronouncements by Mr Yeboah Dame, a former Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr Felix Kwakye Ofosu, speaking for Mr Mahama’s office in a radio interview on Accra based Joy FM on Tuesday evening [March 3, 2020] said: “his [Yeboah Dame] pronouncements constitute nothing more than diversionary propaganda, which must be promptly dismissed.”
“… this is nothing more… from a government that is wallowing in abject corruption.”
Mr Kwakye Ofosu questioned what specific offence the supposed government officials in the previous [NDC] administration had committed, where in that deferred prosecution agreement or the approved judgement is a specific case or allegation made against any specific Ghanaian official for which reason anybody must come forward.”