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Airbus bribery scandal: I’ll let Special Prosecutor probe take its course

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The Member of Parliament for Assin South, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, has welcomed the decision of the Speaker of Parliament to put on hold his request for the House to institute an inquiry into the Airbus bribery scandal.

After a vigorous debate in the House this week over the matter, the Speaker ruled that the Special Prosecutor be allowed to complete investigations into the alleged bribery during the procurement of three military aircraft in 2011.

The Assin South MP, in turn, indicated to Citi News that despite his strong belief that a parliamentary probe will be appropriate, he will abide by the decision of the Speaker.

“It [a parliamentary probe] will not have been out of place but yielding to superior counsel by the state of Parliament which will rightly rule and acknowledge that in the acquisition powers of Parliament, it’s [a parliamentary probe] in no doubt and this matter is not something that is above us. For the moment, we should stand it down, not dismissing [the potential of a parliamentary probe], and allow the referral to the Office of the Special Prosecutor take its course,” he noted.

Aircraft manufacturing giant, Airbus, has been in the news because it agreed on a legal settlement of about £3 billion because of bribes it paid between 2009 and 2015 in various markets across the globe.

Prosecutors in the UK, US and France who had been investigating the company, found in the case of Airbus’ dealings with Ghana that the company and its agents paid bribes to some key individuals including government officials at the time to ensure or maintain business favours.

According to the Statement of Facts in the case, between 2009 and 2015, “a number of Airbus employees promised success-based commission payments of about €5 million to an Intermediary in Ghana

The payments to the Intermediary by officials of Airbus SE were “intended to induce or reward improper favour over the purchase of three C-295 military transport aircraft.

Out of the €5 million promised the intermediary, €3.85 million was paid between March 2012 and February 2014.

Martin Amidu involved

President Akufo-Addo in a statement on Sunday, February 2, 2020, tasked the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to collaborate with the appropriate UK agencies to investigate the matter and determine the complicity or otherwise of any past or present Ghanaian government official.

He said persons found complicity must be dealt with according to law.

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