June 24, 2024
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Airbus Saga: OSP Contacts INTERPOL, UK Over Mahama

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has announced that investigations are ongoing regarding the alleged bribery by Airbus SE, an European multinational aerospace corporation, regarding the sale and purchase of military aircraft for the Republic of Ghana, in which former President John Dramani Mahama is allegedly complicit.

According to the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, the OSP is working with INTERPOL and the central authorities of the United Kingdom and the United States under the mutual legal assistance regime as part of efforts to initiate an international arrest warrant for the arrest of some officials including brother of former President Mahama for questioning.

Four British nationals including Mr. Mahama’s brother were said to be wanted by the Ghanaian authorities for questioning for their roles in the alleged bribery of Ghanaian officials in the purchase of the aircraft.

In a half-year report published on July 4, 2023, the OSP revealed that Airbus is alleged to have paid bribes in Ghana during the sale of three military aircraft.

The company admitted hiring the brother of a top elected Ghanaian official whose identity was revealed as former President John Dramani Mahama as its consultant for the pitch to sell the aircraft to Ghana.

The investigation stems from a 2019 settlement reached between Airbus SE and authorities in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

As part of the settlement, Airbus agreed to pay a record-breaking $4 billion fine to resolve allegations of bribery and corruption in multiple countries, including Ghana.

The allegations state that Airbus SE paid bribes to various individuals in Ghana in exchange for securing contracts related to the sale and purchase of military aircraft. These alleged bribes were said to have taken place between 2009 and 2015.

Per a report carried by The Sun, former President Mahama purportedly had link with the middlemen who facilitated the payment of the bribe to the key government officials when he was then the Vice President.

Since the settlement was announced, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has been actively pursuing the case and coordinating efforts with international partners to gather evidence and ensure a fair and transparent investigation.

Kissi Agyebeng, the Special Prosecutor, emphasised the importance of cooperation between countries in combating corruption and holding those responsible accountable.

The assistance of INTERPOL, as well as the central authorities of the United Kingdom and the United States, is crucial in gathering evidence and uncovering the truth behind the alleged bribery scheme.

The mutual legal assistance regime allows for the exchange of information and cooperation between countries in criminal investigations, facilitating the investigation process and ensuring that justice is served.

The OSP investigation also targets alleged corruption and corruption-related offences perpetrated by some officials of the Bank of Ghana, banks, specialised deposit-taking institutions, and financial holding companies that precipitated the collapse of some banks and financial institutions and the financial sector clean-up and recapitalisation reforms.

By Vincent Kubi

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