Ghana has been shaken to its core following revelations of a bribery scandal involving Europe’s largest aerospace multinational, Airbus and some government officials of the Mills-Mahama led administration.
The aerospace giant, over the weekend, admitted to a High Court in London of paying huge bribes in order to secure high-value contracts in Ghana, under the erstwhile Mills-Mahama administration.
Reacting to the bribery scandal, however, Mensah Thompson, Executive Director for the Alliance of Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), has cautioned against “naming officials” considered to ‘fit’ the narrative.
Such an action, he said, could result in Ghanaians losing sight of the substantive matter and swim in the usual realms of politicization of the issues.
Speaking on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem Monday, Mr Thompson said instead of dwelling solely on the account of Airbus, the said officials ‘involved’ in the scandal should be allowed to tell their side of the story.
Why have we believed the account of airbus without investigating the other parties in the scandal? If care is not taken, we will lose site of the substantive matter and end up doing politicizing the issue, he quizzed.
Nowhere in the report does it indicate that monies were paid to the said involved government officials, neither was it indicated that the country lost money in the transaction due to the bloated sales of the aircrafts, he added.
The issue here is they (Airbus) trying to bribe government officials, whether they accepted it or not we can’t tell for now. So let’s deal with the issue cautiously, he further stated.
Mr Thompson is of the view that the bribery scandal could be an impression created by someone who wanted to benefit from the deal but didn’t.
To him, the Airbus Bribery Scandal is an indictment on the country and has, therefore, urged the government to write to the aerospace giant demanding adequate information on the matter before taking any action.
Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace multinational, confessed to a High Court in London of paying huge bribes in order to secure contracts in Ghana, between 2011 and 2015.
The planemaker has been fined three billion pounds (£3bn)- what is described to be the largest ever corporate fine for bribery in the world- as penalties by the High Court.
Ghana under late President John Atta-Mills in 2011 and former President John Mahama in 2015, acquired three Airbus C295 planes from the company as part of an effort to augment and modernize the fleet of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Some Ghanaians have challenged the NDC which was then in government to respond to the claims.
Reacting to the bribery scandal in a statement, Minister for Justice under the erstwhile Mahama administration, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, said the media had misrepresented the facts as happened in the court.