Politics

Mahama’s Embraer 190 never arrived in Ghana – Minister

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It has emerged that the controversial Embraer 190 aircraft purchased for the Ghana Armed Forces under the Mills-Mahama administration in 2011 never arrived in Ghana.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu, made assertion in an exclusive interview on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Wednesday.

He explained that though Ghana made a part payment for the $55 million jet, the state never received it.

Hon. Kyei Mensah Bonsu exposé comes after the erstwhile Mills-Mahama administration has been indicted in a bribery scandal involving European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus.

In court documents that have since been made public, it’s alleged that some officials of the aircraft company paid bribes to some Ghanaian officials led by a ‘Government Official 1’ who led the purchase of three Airbus C-295 military aircrafts in 2015 – an allegation which has been denied.

But the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is having a field day with the issue by accusing former President John Mahama as being the ‘Government Official 1’.

Commenting on the issue, Hon. Kyei Mensah Bonsu on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme said he was not surprised Mr Mahama is involved in the scandal.

He explained that the former President who personally went to Brazil to ensure the deal to purchase the Embraer 190 jet for $55 million, as opposed to Embraer’s own quote on its website of $34 million, has failed to deliver it.

The Majority leader said sources in Brazil attributed the collapse of the deal to Ghana’s failure to honour its part of the bargain.

“The Embraer 190 was not delivered because the manufacturers claimed government defaulted in payment,” he alleged.

What made the issue murkier, the Minister stressed, was the then government’s decision to build a hanger for the aircraft at $17 million, knowing fully well the plane will never come.

“We raised issues as Minority in Parliament but the Speaker did not allow those in charge to answer and now see where we are,’ he lamented.

As a government accountable to the people, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said they were taking steps to investigate the matter to get the jet or a refund of the monies paid to the Brazilian company

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