04 Dec Ghana elections 2020: Former President is a fugitive in the UK,US and France says a Minister of State
By Enoch Adjei
04 Dec ,2020
A Deputy National Campaign Manager for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mustapha Hamid, says it will be detrimental to Ghana’s growth if John Dramani Mahama is voted into power as President.
According to him, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress may soon become a fugitive in the United States of America, United Kingdom, and France for his alleged involvement in the Airbus bribery scandal.
In February 2020, investigations by the UK Serious fraud office indicted Aerospace company, Airbus for bribing government officials in the sale of Aircraft to many countries including Ghana.
Airbus was found guilty by a High Court in London and is to pay a fine of three billion pounds as penalties.
Addressing the press on Friday, December 4, 2020, Dr. Hamid who is also the Minister for Zongo Development said Ghanaians cannot risk re-electing John Mahama on December 7.
“Whichever way you look at it, former President John Mahama has been accused in court documents, appearing in three countries for his personal involvement in an international bribery scandal valued at 5 million euros. What this means is that John Mahama could soon face the International Criminal Justice System. This is the man on the ballot paper that will be handed over to you on Monday. He will be presented to you as a presidential candidate”.
He stressed that “when you choose him, you risk choosing a president who may be a fugitive in France, the UK, and the USA. Prosecutors in all three countries, in striking a deal with Airbus for the fines, made it clear that it will not stop them from pursuing the individuals involved. This means that candidate Mahama risks arrest if he steps anywhere near those shores.”
“Can you imagine a President of the Republic of Ghana with an International arrest warrant on his head? A President who would not be able to travel freely abroad to fight and negotiate for Ghana? That is the risk of voting for John Mahama. The alternative is indeed scarier than we all thought,” he added.
He further accused Mahama of failing to travel to the UK since the bribery scandal was reported.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hamid rehashed the government’s plans to secure Ghana’s share of the fine imposed on Airbus.
“It is a scar on the conscience of those who were entrusted to seek the common good of all Ghanaians but instead are motivated by their personal pockets. That is why we are happy about the information from the government that Akufo-Addo has begun moves to get Ghana a fair share of the world record fines, levied in the scandal.”
On January 31, 2020, Ghana was cited as one of five countries in which global aerospace group, Airbus SE, allegedly bribed or promised payments to senior officials in exchange for business favours between 2009 and 2015, according to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
This led to a record £3 billion in settlement by Airbus with France, the United Kingdom, and the United States to avoid corporate criminal charges.
President Akufo-Addo later referred the Airbus bribery scandal to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigations.
Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu named the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer John Mahama as the Ghanaian Official, code-named Government Official 1 in the report, who used his brother to receive the Ghana share of the bribes.
He was however unable to complete his investigations before leaving office.