The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has recently confirmed that it has began investigations into the Airbus bribery scandal.
Martin Amidu,the Special Prosecutor, said there is reasonable suspicion of bribery and corruption in the deferred prosecution agreement between the European aircraft manufacturing company, Airbus and the British Serious Fraud Office in which Ghana was featured, hence, a decision to commence an investigation.
On January 31, 2020, Ghana was named as one of five countries that Airbus paid or attempted to pay millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for beneficial contracts, leading a court in Britain to adhere £3 billion in fine on the company.
The company allegedly paid bribes to Ghana and officials in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan within the same period.
Due to privacy reasons, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office resisted in their statement of fact to mention the names of the Ghanaian officials because investigations are still ongoing.
His Excellency President Akufo-Addo has tasked the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the airbus scandal.
However, it is notable that the opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) are in counteraction with the idea of an investigation. They believe an investigation into the issue is unnecessary because no bribery was involved.
The governing party, New Patriotic Party (NPP) has already come out to name former President John Dramani Mahama as government official no.1, an elected public figure who dominated the report.
But responding to the request from the Presidency, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu said offences including bribery of public officers and the use of public offices for private profits which falls within his jurisdiction under the OPS Act, 2017 (Act 959) has been determined.
According to Martin Amidu, ”the relevant domestic public institutions which can assist with the on-going investigation have already been contacted to provide information and documents.”
He is, therefore, appealing to the mass public not to “speculate or politicise the disclosures made in the deferred prosecution agreement and judgment so as to allow his office treat the suspected crimes as suspected crimes simpliciter and nothing more.”