National Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi has, in a write up, rendered a comprehensive analysis of the Airbus bribery scandal that seeks to indict the the Mills-Mahama administration from 2009 to 2015.
In addressing the approved judgment of UK’s Crown Court and the report submitted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Mr Gyamfi raised a number of arguments to prove no wrongdoing on the part of the said ‘Government Official 1’.
He first argued saying, the matter handled by the UK Court was entirely based on criminal infractions committed by employees of Airbus and not ‘Intermediary 5 and 6’ as well as the Government Official 1.
His second argument had to do with NPP’s frivolous and baseless insinuations of wrongdoing on the part of the Mills and Mahama-led administrations in the purchase of the aircrafts, adding the NPP had failed to adduce evidence to buttress their corruption claims against Mr John Mahama.
Mr Gyamfi in his third argument, asserted that neither the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) report nor the approved judgment of the Crown Court of Southwark had accused the said ‘Government Official 1’ of any wrongdoing.
He further argued, saying the said ‘bribes’ in excess of 3 million Euros paid to ‘Intermediary 5 and 6’ per the SFO’s report and the approved judgment of the Crown Court which was meant to “induce or reward the improper favour shown by Government Official 1,’ was not actualized.
This point becomes even clearer when juxtaposed with the facts narrated in the approved judgment with regard to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan, where the UK SFO actually made findings on how bribes were disbursed to senior executives of Airlines. Clearly, the UK SFO would have stated that bribes were paid to the said government official 1 if they had found so in their investigations. Instead, they carefully chose the words ‘intended to induce’ without more. And there is no indication that this intention was actualized,” the write up read.
The legal practitioner also asserted that Ghana, per the findings in SFO’s report and Crown Court’s approved judgment, was not shortchanged in the transaction as Ghana paid a fair commercial value for the aircrafts as the procurement laws of the country were strictly adhered to.
See Sammy Gyamfi’s analysis of the scandal below:
From my reading of the UK SFO report and the approved judgment of the Crown Court of Southwark on the raging Airbus scandal, it is clear that the whole case is about: *criminal infractions by employees and agents of Airbus and nothing more.*
These infractions are that:
1. Airbus engaged agents (intermediary 5 and his associates & intermediary 8) who had no prior expertise in the aerospace industry, to help them sell military aircrafts to Ghana.
2. The role of Intermediary 5 in the transactions violated OECD Convention, 1997 due to his close relation with a Ghana government official (GO1) who was influential in Ghana’s acquisition of the aircrafts at the time.
3. Intermediary 8 was used as a front for intermediary 5 with the consent of employees of Airbus to circumvent the OECD Convention, 1997. Through this arrangement, actual work done by intermediary 5 were misrepresented as having been done by intermediary 8 and success-based commission of about 3.8 million euros paid to intermediary 8, was later remitted to intermediary 5 by intermediary 8.
4. The payment of the success-based commission of about 3.8 million euros by Airbus to intermediary 8 which was later remitted to intermediary 5, was in excess of the agreed 5% commission of about 3 million euros as captured in the Purchase Agreement. There was therefore overpayment of about 800 thousand euros.
5. The success-based commission paid to the intermediaries were “intended to induce or reward improper favor by government official 1.” NB: There is no indication either in the report or approved judgment that this intention was actualized.
Now the critical issues.
1. No ex-government official of Ghana is cited in the report or approved judgment for receiving a bribe or committing any offense. In fact, not even the unnamed government official 1 is cited in the report or approved judgement for receiving a bribe or for committing any offense.
NB: This point becomes even clearer when juxtaposed with the facts narrated in the approved judgment with regard to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan, where the UK SFO actually made findings on how bribes were disbursed to senior executives of Airlines. Clearly, the UK SFO would have stated that bribes were paid to the said government official 1 if they had found so in their investigations. Instead they carefully chose the words “intended to induce” without more. And there is no indication that this intention was actualized.
2. There is no finding in the report or approved judgment that Ghana lost any money through the transactions. The government of Ghana paid fair commercial value for the aircrafts and was not in any way shortchanged. No such finding was made by the UK SFO or Southwark Crown Court.
3. There is no finding either in the report or approved judgement that any laws were breached by the government of Ghana or any official of Ghana in the transactions. The Procurement law was strictly adhered to.
4. There is no finding in the report or approved judgement, that the government of Ghana or any government official, engaged or paid any money to any agent. Therefore any infractions arising from the engagement and payment of agents by Airbus are entirely their business.
1. The whole case is about criminal infractions by employees and agents of Airbus, a private company. There was no way the government of Ghana could have known of the above infractions at the time of the transactions.
2. Allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the Mills and Mahama administrations by the NPP are frivolous and baseless. The NPP is only engaging in conjecture and baseless insinuations. They have not been able to adduce any evidence to buttress their claims.
3. To the extent that, the said government official 1 is not accused of any wrongdoing in the report and approved judgment, his identity is completely immaterial.
4. The desperate attempt by the NPP and its media surrogates to divert attention from recent conclusively established cases of corruption involving the Akufo-Addo government such as, the missing tricycles scandal, missing excavators scandal, the doling out of over GHS136 billion tax-waiver to the in-law of President Akufo-Addo among others, will not wash.
SAMMY GYAMFI Esq.