The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu says a brother of former president John Mahama was involved in the procurement of the two Airbus C-295 aircraft between 2009 and 2015.
He said Mahama’s brother was with the then Minister for Defence, Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith and other officials who visited Airbus offices overseas as part of processes to procure the aircraft.
“Some of us raised these matters even then in 2011, that how come his [Mahama] own brother was with General Smith in Brazil, Spain and in France in the purchase of these things [aircraft],” he said in a Citi News interview.
The procurement process has recently been cited in the global bribery scandal involving the aircraft manufacturer, Airbus.
That scandal has resulted in Airbus being slapped with an amount of £3 billion in settlement fines.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in stating facts of the case said between 2009 and 2015, “a number of Airbus employees made or promised success based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5,” who is said to be “a close relative of a high ranking elected Ghanaian Government official (Government Official 1).”
Significantly, “Government Official 1 was a key decision-maker in respect of Government of Ghana aircraft orders.”
The payments to Intermediary 5 by officials of Airbus SE were, thus, “intended to induce or reward improper favour by “Government Official 1” over the purchase of three (3) C-295 military transport aircraft. Indeed, out of the €5 million promised Intermediary 5, €3.85 million was paid between March 2012 and February 2014.”
Although no individual names were mentioned in the documents there are wild speculations and guesses about who the persons involved in Ghana’s case may be, especially as the period the investigations focused on, was during the administration of the late Prof. Evans Atta-Mills and John Mahama.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) at a press conference on Monday said they were certain that the top official cited was John Mahama and the supposed close relative was one Samuel Mahama whom the former president talked about in his book, “My first coup d’état.”
The claim, as of yet, cannot be confirmed but Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who was a key opposing voice in a Parliamentary debate on the purchase of the aircraft, said it was curious that a brother of John Mahama joined the team to Airbus’ offices and later was involved in the ownership of a refurbished aircraft.
“…and when not too long after [purchase of the aircraft], they came to own a plane refurbished by the same people [Airbus]. It was really something else,” Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told Citi News’ Umaru Sanda in an interview.
“Nobody said he is number 1 [GO 1]. Don’t forget that he himself said that he was the luckiest vice president and that in many of these things, the president [Prof. Atta-Mills] allowed him to go ahead.”