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05.02.2020 Feature Article

The Airbus Scandal Must put The Special Prosecutor on his Mettle

The Airbus Scandal Must put The Special Prosecutor on his Mettle
LISTEN FEB 5, 2020

God always has diverse ways of fulfilling His promises to whom He makes promises, although most of such promises take long to manifest. President Nana Akufo-Addo in my undoubted belief is God-send to come and redeem Ghanaians from official corruption, the bane of Ghana’s socio-politico-economic development and the cause of Ghanaians self-denigration into subhuman.

However, it has until now become insurmountable for the president chalking any successes in his fight against corruption, if he is rather not overwhelmed by corruption as some people, especially the NDC folks, would want Ghanaians and the whole world to believe. Himself, his government and the Special Prosecutor are permanently being ridiculed by the NDC, tagging them as corrupt and weak, a case of the kettle calling the pot you are dark.

Unlike in a civil lawsuit where judgment is based on preponderance where any little evidence submitted to court is acceptable, in a criminal lawsuit, you need to supply evidence that is 100% credible that nobody can raise any minute doubt about, thus evidence that emerges unbruised when subjected to the test of proof, to win your case. This in my view has made it very difficult for the President and the Special Prosecutor to achieve their objective of curtailing, if not obliterating, institutional corruption, in or from Ghana.

There was a missed opportunity when the Members of Parliament caught to have drawn double salary over years for same job done, were let off the hook without any official reasons assigned for their non-investigations let alone, prosecution.

Now, the airbus scandal has unfolded at the right time with the needed evidence to make the job easier for both the President and the Special Prosecutor to live up to the expectation of seriously fighting corruption in Ghana. The President has done his bit by referring the case to my senior brother, Hon Martin Amidu, the Special Prosecutor, to cause investigations into the airbus scandal for which a British High Court has fined the Airbus company a whopping £3 billion for bribery and corrupt practices in seeking huge contracts in which some African countries including Ghana were mentioned.

An intermediary, thus a middleman, codenamed number 5, was used by airbus to bribe an elected number 1 Ghana official who holds the final decision on the purchase of the airbus planes for the Ghana military. This was between years 2011 and 2015. Who could the elected but not appointed number 1 Ghana official be? Your guess is as good as mine.

Some NDC fanatics of whom Sammy Gyamfi, their Communications Team member, figures conspicuously, are vociferously defending whoever their elected number 1 Ghana official is. They are saying the circumstances under which the money was passed to the intermediary 5 and on to the elected Ghana official 1 is not a bribe but a normal code of business practice for awarding contracts. Therefore, they see no reason why at all the President should refer it to the Special Prosecutor to investigate.

If I had my own way, I would say Sammy Gyamfi is more than a fool for saying that what a big company as airbus with numerous internal counsels and hired top lawyers has acknowledged liable for, hence accepting a British High Court order to them to pay a fine of £3 billion is nothing short of chasing the wind should the Special Prosecutor spend his precious time to look into it.

If what airbus did was not against international code of good company practice, but simply paying 10% to agents helping them to secure big contracts, why would the company be investigated for bribery and corruption and subsequently accept culpability and a fine? Why is airbus even grateful that the case does not proceed to trial where the leaders of the company risk imprisonment, and the company risk a bigger fine or a cessation of their operations?

It is only in Ghana and among the NDC that the findings by the British High Court against airbus and their acceptance of culpability is nothing but a joke. Should I say Sammy Gyamfi needs his head/brains examined in case he is not suffering from stupid-man’s syndrome?

The Special Prosecutor should not miss this opportunity to help the country prosecute that corrupt elected Ghana official 1. The President and the Special Prosecutor failed to investigate, let alone, prosecute, the double salary-takers where all the credible evidence were easily available to pursue cases of corruption against them.

Same as God made it possible for Nana Addo to realise the benefits of third-time lucky, He is today making Hon Martin Amidu and the President reap the fruits of second-time lucky in the nation’s quest to flush out official corruption from Ghana.

A perfect opportunity has been handed to both the President and the Special Prosecutor on a silver platter to redeem their dented image in the eyes of discerning Ghanaians for failing to robustly deal with corruption until now. Will they avail themselves of this God-send golden opportunity to deal with official corruption for once?

Should they be able to find that elected Ghana official 1, successfully prosecute him or her, corruption will have 10% been solved with that just one person. Therefore, this case is putting Hon Martin Amidu on his mettle. To put one on his mettle means “to put one in a situation in which they must prove their worth, skill, or ability”

The flame of the fight against corruption is burning; it burns unabated! By the way, are bribery, corruption and extortion criminal offences in the statute books of Ghana? YES or NO? If they are, then Ghana judges must take good note of it!!!

Rockson Adofo
Wednesday, 5 February 2020

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