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Assin South MP, Rev John Ntim Fordjour Demands Parliamentary Inquiry into Airbus saga

MP for Assin South, Rev John Ntim Fordjour

The Member of Parliament for Assin South constituency in the Central Region, Rev John Ntim Fordjuor is demanding a parliamentary inquiry into the Airbus bribery scandal.

According to him, the scandal has brought country international embarrassment and discredited the name of Ghana, hence the need to probe the matter.

Court documents obtained from the United Kingdom’s Crown Court at Southwark, has revealed how a top government official in the erstwhile Mills/Mahama administration allegedly received bribe running into millions of dollars in exchange of contracts.

The January 31, 2020 judgment delivered by the President of the Queen’s Bench Division of the Crown Court, Rt Hon Dame Victoria Sharp read that between 2009 and 2015, Airbus engaged a very close relative and confidante of a high-ranking elected Ghanaian Government official as an intermediary or agent in respect of the proposed sale of three military transport aircraft to the Government of Ghana.

“A number of Airbus employees knew that the intermediary was a close relative of Government Official 1, who was a key decision maker in respect of the proposed sales. A number of Airbus employees made or promised success-based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5,” the judgment states and continues: “False documentation was created by or with the agreement of Airbus employees in order to support and disguise these payments. The payments were intended to induce or reward “improper favour” by Government Official 1 towards Airbus. Payments were eventually stopped due to the arrangement failing the due diligence processes required by the Liquidation Committee.”

The document which doesn’t name the said highly placed and influential government official stated that “Airbus, through one of its Spanish defence subsidiaries, conducted two campaigns to sell its C-295 military transport aircraft to the Government of Ghana: the first campaign ran from 2009 to 2011, the second from 2013 to 2015. Intermediary 5, a UK national with no prior expertise in the aerospace industry, acted as the BP for Airbus in both. Company D was the corporate vehicle through which Intermediary 5 and his associates provided services to Airbus.”

As the identity of the said government official still remains a mystery, Assin South MP, Rev Ntim Fordjour believes its time to lift the veil on that said government official 1.

“The judgement is of serious concern to the people of Assin South Constituency and the general public who strongly abhor bribery and corruption as a phenomenon. To my mind, it must equally be of great concern to the House to invoke its accountability and oversight powers to initiate a well-coordinated inquiry into naming and shaming the few miscreants who may have been shielded as Government Official 1, Individual 1, Intermediary 5 as well as any other persons culpable within our jurisdiction, relative to the infamous Airbus SE bribery scandal which is fast threatening to erode the good name of the Republic of Ghana, if fast remedial actions are not taken.”

In a statement presented on the floor of parliament on Friday, 7 February 2020, Rev Ntim Forjour said: “With due regard for the diligent commitment exhibited by President Akufo-Addo in respect of the judgment by the UK and USA courts in relation to the Airbus SE bribery scandal, as demonstrated by promptly charging the Office of the Special Prosecutor to collaborate with its UK counterpart to conduct inquiry into determining the complicity or otherwise of any Ghanaian government official, past or present and to take the necessary action required by Ghanaian law, I, in the spirit of patriotism, do, accordingly, implore the House to explore our legitimate option fortified by Order 191 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana, to conduct inquiry into the matter, as an independent institution, to establish complicity or otherwise of Ghanaian government officials, past or present, relative to this Airbus bribery scandal.”

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