20th May 2024

Political Scientist, Prof. Ransford Gyampo has expressed concerns over what he says is the hoarding of scandals to cause political unrest during election years.

Prof. Gyampo insisted that the trend must stop to pave way for a political atmosphere where electorates can vote based on everyday issues.

“I think the practice of keeping scandals and hoarding criminal videos only to release in election year is not productive because once you do so, the other party also will say I will do same to equalize so at the end of the day if you do not take care, it is he who is able to produce more scandals that will be elected.”

“I am sure you have heard about Airbus scandal… at the end of the day, we are embarking on the disingenuous practice of politics of equalization,” he said.

His concerns come in the wake of the Airbus bribery scandal in which Ghana has been cited as one of the five countries Airbus agents allegedly bribed or promised payments to senior officials in exchange for business favours between 2009 and 2015.

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 individual Ghanaian officials because investigations were still ongoing.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has since referred the Airbus bribery scandal to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigations.

These investigations are expected to be conducted in collaboration with the United Kingdom authorities, according to a statement from the presidency.

Response from NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was in power during the period the bribes were allegedly paid, denied the suggestions of corruption amid speculation from the public.

The party in a statement signed by former Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, argued that media reports on the matter did not accurately capture the approved judgement of the case in the UK.

“The reports alleging that Airbus SE paid bribes during the administration of President John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama are false, misleading and do not reflect the Approved Judgment. Indeed, the Approved Judgment of the Crown Court of Southwark approving the DPA between Airbus and the UK Serious Fraud Office does not allege that any payment was made by Airbus to any Ghanaian Government official,” the statement said.

Payments in Ghana

In the case of Ghana, the court found that the company’s bribe was to land the contract of purchase of a military transport aircraft.

“Between 1 July 2011 and 1 June 2015 Airbus SE failed to prevent persons associated with Airbus SE 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 for Airbus SE,” the court’s statement of offence noted.

The documents indicated that one of the unnamed Ghanaian officials was “a key decision-maker in respect of Government of Ghana aircraft orders.”

A number of Airbus employees “made or promised success-based commission payments of approximately €5 million” to one of the Ghanaians implicated in the acts of corruption.

Key actors in scandal

The judgement noted the existence of a “Government Official 1” described as a high ranking and elected. There was also an Intermediary 5 who is noted as British national and close relative of Government Official 1.

There is a Company D which is a corporate vehicle for Intermediary 5, Intermediary 6 who is a British national and associate of Intermediary 5, Intermediary 7 who is also a British national and associate of Intermediary 5 and Intermediary 8 which is a Spanish company and front for Intermediary 5.

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