The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has confirmed that it has started investigations into the Airbus bribery scandal.
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, said there is enough “reasonable suspicion” of corruption and bribery in the deferred prosecution agreement between the European aircraft manufacturing company, Airbus and the British Serious Fraud Office in which Ghana was featured, hence a decision to commence an investigation.
On January 31, 2020, Ghana was named as one of five countries that Airbus 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 addition to Ghana, the company allegedly paid bribes to officials in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Taiwan within the same period.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office, however, in its statement of fact did not name the Ghanaian officials because investigations were still ongoing.
This led to President Akufo-Addo tasking the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the scandal.
While the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) believes an investigation into the issue is unnecessary because no bribe was taken, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has already come out to name former President John Dramani Mahama as government official 1, an elected public figure who dominated the report.
But responding to the request from the Presidency, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu said offences including bribery of public officers and the use of public offices for private profits which falls within his jurisdiction under the OPS Act, 2017 (Act 959) have been determined.
According to him, ”the relevant domestic public institutions which can assist with the on-going investigation have already been contacted to provide information and documents.”
He is, therefore, appealing to the public not to “speculate or politicise the disclosures made in the deferred prosecution agreement and judgment so as to allow his office treat the suspected crimes as suspected crimes simpliciter and nothing more.”
Find the letter from the Office of the Special Prosecutor below
Airbus scandal ‘make or break’ for Amidu – Martin Kpebu
Meanwhile, Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, says the spotlight should be put on Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu as the country continues to demand closure in a bribery scandal involving aviation giant, Airbus and a reputed top Ghanaian politician.
While many are debating whether Martin Amidu is fit to lead the charge, Lawyer Martin Kpebu believes government should be more focused on if the Special Prosecutor is adequately equipped to handle the issue.
According to him, since it is a break or make for the office, more light should be thrown on Martin Amidu and help provided the office. This, he said, would lead to the citizenry being given regular updates on the investigation.
“So far we have been interested in the conspiracy theories far more than reaching out to Mr Amidu to find out what he is doing.
“This one is a make or break for him, so, I think we should rather throw the searchlight on help Mr Amidu needs to be able to finish this investigation quickly because people’s reputations are at stake. Also apart from that, as Ghanaians, we are also curious now that the conspiracies are all over on who is government official 1 and intermediary 5. So let’s ask him what he needs,” he said to host of Joy News’ Newsfile Samson Lardy Anyenini.