Ghana

Airbus Scandal Reveals ‘Gluttonous Corruption’

The Special Prosecutor (SP) Martin A. B. K. Amidu has defended the Red Notice from International Police Organization (Interpol) which was issued for the arrest of former President John Mahama’s brother, Samuel Adam Foster, aka Samuel Adam Mahama, and four other foreigners, saying he built a good case to warrant the Interpol action.

He has described the Airbus SE scandal in which Ghanaian top officials, through the fugitives, collected or were paid around four million Euros in bribes for the supply of aircraft to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) as gluttonous corruption

Besides, he has described the lawyers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who were criticizing the attempt to arrest the fugitives, as unethical and inexperienced.

Red Notice

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), in a statement yesterday, confirmed that the Interpol General Secretariat, after a thorough examination of the case presented to it by the OSP in the Airbus SE (Ghana) bribery case through the Ghana Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), approved Ghana’s request and issued red notices for each of the four fugitives wanted for prosecution by the OSP.

It said the notices were issued after more than three months of the initial request on July 10, 2020 for the arrests of Samuel Mahama, Sarah Furneaux, Sarah Leanne Davis and Philip Sean Middlemiss for their roles in the Airbus SE bribery scandal.

They stand accused of accepting bribe to influence a public officer and also acting in collaboration with a public officer for the public officer’s private gain.

Formal Notice

According to the OSP’s statement, the Director General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service formally notified the SP of the fact that the Interpol General Secretariat had examined and approved the request of his office through the NCB and issued the red notices for each of the four named fugitives wanted for prosecution by his office on July 15, 2020.

It said when the SP checked online at Joy FM later, he saw a publication stating the fact of the issuance of the red notices by Interpol at the instance of the OSP.

“The SP also learnt later and read online that a bunch of young, inexperienced and unethical lawyers were referring to the red notices as fake, while at the same time heaping insults and attributing unwarranted motives to the person and character of the SP for doing his work as the SP to fight provable corruption,” it said.

Unusual Occurrence

It added that on July 17, it came to the notice of the SP that the Police CID had unusually gone out of its way to issue a news release to the media dated July 16, 2020, adding that “this office as an independent and active agency took the view that the publication made on its behalf was unusual, extraordinary, needless and gratuitous as every Interpol Red Notice states in its content the law enforcement agency at whose behest it is issued (sic).”

Amidu Pedigree

“The SP is well known in this country and among the community of ethical lawyers and the senior judiciary as a person who had practised the law ethically for over 40 years. Some of the unethical lawyers who were assaulting the person and character of the SP on air are lawyers who are in their twenties and early thirties: they have not even yet cut their teeth at the Ghana Bar.”

The statement said Mr. Amidu had “refused to be drawn into the affray of turning law into politics as is the forte of those unethical and inexperienced lawyers with no or very limited distinguished court practice vindicating their standing as lawyers in the Ghana Law Reports.”

Crime As Crime

“The SP wishes to assure Ghanaians that his office will, despite all the manpower and structural resource constraints militating against its operations, continue to treat crime simply as a crime in fulfilling his mandate of fighting corruption without fear or favour affection or ill will,” it added.

The statement said that the OSP had conducted an independent investigation “and gathered credible evidence for the steps it has taken so far and will continue to take in the gluttonous Airbus SE (Ghana) bribery case unwarranted fulminations or tantrums of an undistinguished former crown counsel in the UK who could not take silk there or other junior lawyers mean nothing to a former Ghanaian (longest served) Deputy Attorney General, Minister of the Interior, and Attorney General of the Republic of Ghana in terms of the appreciation of the criminal law and procedure of Ghana (sic).”

Good Lawyers

The statement also said that “experienced practising and distinguished lawyers cannot be found among those at the radio stations unethically touting as lawyers to attract clients,” adding, “Good and distinguished lawyers do not tout.”

They stated that Mr. Amidu was not ready to ‘glorify’ those he said were engaged in unethical practices, saying “why then nakedly follow a mad man who has snatched your dress while you are bathing? The bait intended to extract the strategy and tactics of this office in the gluttonous Airbus SE (Ghana) corruption case fails woefully by dint of superior learning, practice and experience!”

“SP wishes to assure the noisemakers that the investigation into the Airbus SE bribery case in Ghana has been so thorough that it has even unearthed the suspected commission of other related crimes of impersonation as graduates of the University of Ghana, a civil servant and forgeries in the application for the acquisition of a Ghanaian passport connected to this bribery (sic).”

—Daily Guide


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