21st June 2024

Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame

A Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has asked persons implicated in the Airbus bribery scandal to surrender to the Special Prosecutor for probe before they are nailed.

Mr Yeboah Dame said yesterday that failure on their part to own up will compel Special Prosecutor to apply the law to unravel the circumstances surrounding the transactions.

In his view, it is important therefore that the key actors come public to tell their side of the story before the law exposes their identities.

“If the 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,” he added.

Running from probe

Speaking on the sidelines of the opening of a two-day conference on dealing with transnational crimes, organised by the Attorney-Generals Alliance (AGA-Africa) in Accra yesterday, the Deputy A-G said there is reluctance from certain persons to admit their involvement in the scandal, even though their identities are quite clear.

In a statement, which clearly sought to make reference to former President John Dramani Mahama, he said “key government actors who engaged in the transaction are still around, and I insist there was a Vice-President who later on transformed into a President, and he is around and still campaigning to hold public office. And I am saying, in accordance with the principles of accountability, even if he was not involved, he ought to open up to the full facts because the transition occurred under his tenure.”

Action taken

Mr Yeboah Dame disclosed that the Attorney-General has triggered the process for the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office to name the persons involved in the scandal.

He said the AG’s Department is exploring Ghana’s cooperation agreement with the UK, saying “a letter has been written by the Attorney General to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office requesting for the information. So, the process has been triggered for such information to be given.”

“Many of the senior government officials involved in the purchase of the aircraft are still around, but continue to maintain deafening silence to the exquisite findings of the Crown Court in the UK,” he added.

Scandal

Ghana’s purchase of aircraft from Airbus, during the erstwhile Mills and Mahama administrations, is now at the centre of what is said to be the biggest bribery case in a UK court.

The “chop-chop” deal is believed to have been spearheaded by Mr John Mahama, first as the Vice-President under the late President Mills, and later as the President.
Airbus is to pay a record £3bn in penalties after admitting to paying huge bribes on an “endemic” basis to land contracts in 20 countries, including Ghana.

Already, countries and companies around the world implicated in the bribery scandal have initiated investigations into the matter.

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