Here is a brief about Ghana’s Airbus bribery scandal and the reactions on social media.
Media reports on Sunday 2nd February was rife that Airbus, one of the largest manufacturers of commercial aircraft in the world, had admitted it paid bribes to some high level Government officials in Ghana. This was in a bid to secure a contract for the procurement of Aeroplanes for the Government of Ghana. It happened between the period of 2009 to 2015.
The news has since sent tongues wagging on social media with some well respected social commentators expressing their opinions on the issue.
Comments on Social Media
Ghanatalkbusiness.com’s reporter has been scanning through commentaries on social media and has come through with the following report.
A US-based Law Lecturer, Professor Kwaku Asare, on Facebook as “Kwaku Azar“, had this to say on the matter.
“A few hours ago, Sri Lanka’s president ordered a fresh investigation of the bribery payments disclosed by the Airbus probe. The opposition has supported this order. Of course, yesterday the Malaysian Corruption Czar indicated he too was investigating their payments”.
“I trust that we too will, with immediate effect, investigate the bribery payments to acquire the C-295. And as in Sri Lanka, I trust that we will not politicize this urgent need to do something about these corrupt practices that are denying us the standard of living that we deserve”.
“The story so far is that Airbus paid I8, essentially a payment vehicle, for onward transfer to Company D, essentially a straw company, to I5, a dual-citizen, to influence GO1, a government official, to buy 3 C-295”.
“Why will a simple transaction of buying C-295 from Airbus be structured in this complex manner? Who is I5, GO1 and I8? What about I6 and I7, the friends of I5?
If law enforcement wants these answers, they can get them tomorrow using the MLA.
128/1820 is a bona fide scam and sham.
Implications of the Scandal
President of Policy Think Tank, Imani Africa, Mr Franklyn Cudjoe also opined on the issue on his Facebook account, saying;
“It is time for Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, to lift the veil behind the 5million Euros Airbus bribery scandal that occured under the NDC government. He has enough documentation now.
However, how do we prevent similar procurement gigs, even murkier than 5million Euros from happening? There has been quite a number already and others unknown”.
Mr Cudjoe further in an interview with Accra-based Cities FM, stated that the bribery scandal may mar the chances of the Former President, John Mahama, in the upcoming general elections. This is because the incident occurred during his era, even though Airbus did not mention the name of the top level Government official that it paid the bribe to.
A Former Court Reporter of the State Owned print media firm, The Daily Graphic, Mabel Aku Banaseh asked the following Questions relative to the alledged bribery scandal.
“Who is Intermediary 5? Wait ooh. Why pay £3 billion as settlement to end a four-year-old enquiry? Is that not another form of bribery?”
A Law Lecture at GIMPA, Mrs Clara Berri Kasser-Tee, also.had this to say;
“Procurement gigs don’t only result in loss of income for our country. But yes, the loss of income is a big issue. Procurement gigs do not also just result in unnecessary expenditures, although that too is a huge problem. The thing with procurement gigs is that it also robs our country of the benefit of utilising the brains she has that can develop her. It kills a nation, slowly, more or less”.
“There are many young people brimming with talent, ideas and capacity to address the problems that face our society. Guess one of their fears? When they take their ideas to government, procurement gigs will come inside, ensuring that we lose money ostensibly to solve a problem, but in reality not solving the problem”.
“Guess what other young people learn – they become disillusioned, (that their country will steal their ideas and not as much as acknowledge them in the process let alone pay them their fair due). They become suspicious, (that their bright ideas may be turned into opportunities for procurement gigs), and they become despondent in the future of their motherland. Legitimately so”.
“They stop dreaming, sometimes. They stop being innovative, sometimes. They become skeptical, sometimes. And yes, we may preach as much as we want. But fact is, these responses are not unfounded”.
“People must certainly be paid for their service to nation. But that is not the same as procurement gigs. Procurement gigs do not benefit us collectively. It destroys the fabric”.
Whiles no names have been mentioned so far, some commentators are however casting insinuation and pointing accusing fingers on the former President, John Mahama. They are indicating that he may be the supposed ” Government Official 1″ in the Airbus bribery scandal.
This has pushed the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ms Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, to issue a statement to rebut the claim that some monies were paid to some high level government official.
“Report alleging that Airbus SE paid bribes during the administration of President John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama are false, misleading and do not reflect the Approved Judgement”, the statement read.
It further stated that “Indeed, the Approved Judgment of the Crown Court of Southwark, approving the DPA between Airbus and the UK Serious Fraud Office does not allege that any payment was made by Airbus to any Ghanaian Government official”.
” It is therefore, a gross distortion for the media to conclude that officials of the Ghana Government between 2009 and 2015 were bribed or paid any commission by Airbus for the acquisition of the Casa C-295 aircraf”, the statement concluded.
Author: Salifu B.B. Moro