Prez tasks Special Prosecutor to start investigations into Airbus bribery scandal
President Akufo-Addo has tasked the Office of the Special Prosecutor to unravel the complicity of any past or present public official in the infamous Airbus scandal. A statement signed by Communications Director at the Presidency; Eugene Arhin stated that these investigations are expected to be conducted in collaboration with the United Kingdom authorities.
"The attention of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been drawn to a 31st January, 2020 judgement of the Crown Court at Southwark, in the United Kingdom, between the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, in which the European multinational aerospace corporation has been fined $3.9 billion for the payment of bribes to secure deals in five countries, including Ghana....President Akufo-Addo has taken notice of the judgement and its implications, and has referred it to the Office of Special Prosecutor to collaborate with its UK counterparts to conduct a prompt inquiry to determine the complicity or otherwise of any Ghanaian government official, past or present, involved in the said scandal, and to take the necessary legal action against any such official, as required by Ghanaian law," the statement disclosed.
How is this news going to play out and can the Office of The Special Prosecutor live up to expectations?
On January 31, 2020, Ghana was named as one of five countries in which the plane maker, 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 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.’’