UK Media Names Mahama in Airbus Bribery Scandal

Almost all major United Kingdom Newspapers and tabloids have named ex-President John Dramani Mahama in connection with former Coronation Street actor, Phil Middlemiss, in the alleged £5million Airbus bribery scandal.
This is despite the fact that spokespersons for ex-President Mahama have vehemently challenged the speculations, saying the former president was never named directly in any of the reports.
Notwithstanding, this is how they reported the scandal: “Former Ghana president John Dramani Mahama is accused of having links to a group that received illicit payments during the contract process,” said The Mirror today, May 14, 2020.
The Sun Newspaper UK reports: “Former Ghana president John Dramani Mahama is accused of having links to a corrupt network which received kickbacks during the contract process.”
The Daily Mail on the other hand, claimed the scandal will have an impact on ex-President Mahama’s campaign for presidential re-election “Ghana’s former president John Dramani Mahama is accused of having links to a corrupt network that would receive kickbacks during the contract tendering process. The revelations have harmed his chances of a campaign for electoral comeback in the West African nation, local media claims,” the Daily Mail reported.
Close associates of the former president have noted that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) have latched onto the unfolding scandal as an arsenal in their campaign after four years of failing to substantiate the plethora of corruption allegations pinned on the former president.
The reports from the UK are coming following a notice issued by Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu to the alleged culprits in the bribery scandal that has rocked the multi-million contract for three Airbus C-295 military planes for the Ghana Armed Forces during the time ex-President Mahama was the Vice President in the regime of the late John Evans Atta Mills.
Middlemiss, 56, famously played Coronation Street’s womanising Des Barnes for eight years in the 1990s is reported to have admitted in one interview that his is a close friend to ex-President Mahama’s junior brother who had lived in the UK too.
He reportedly moved to Ghana afterwards but ran out of money in Ghana and decided to work as a “travel consultant” where he clinched the juicy deal.
According to the Special Prosecutor Amidu, upon completion of preliminary investigation, his office will require Samuel Mahama, who he describes as a brother of former President John Mahama; Philip Sean Middlemiss; Sarah Davis and Sarah Furneaux, all British nationals, to come and answer some questions on the various roles they allegedly played in the sale and purchase of the aircraft.
These individuals are said to have used their connections to top government officials to clinch huge military aircraft contract with Ghana, and that the entire deal was facilitated by massive bribes paid along the web of middlemen and government officials in Ghana.
On January 31, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office cited Ghana as one of five countries that were greased by juicy Airbus bribes in a scandal that has resulted in Airbus entering a record £3 billion settlement in France, the United Kingdom and the United States to avoid corporate criminal charges.
When cornered, Airbus confessed to paying bribes totally €5 million to highly placed government officials in Ghana between 2011 and 2015 to supply military-grade aircraft in what the British courts described as “grave criminality”.
The UK’s Crown Court at Southwark late January issued a lengthy judgment that gave tell-tale clues to specific names involved in the Airbus scandal in Ghana. The judgment used coded messages to describe the individuals, including “important government official”, “Intermediary 5”, “Intermediary 8”, etc. The SFO also described the recipient of the bribe as “Government Official 1”.
The said payment was reportedly intended to induce or reward “improper favour” by Government Official 1 towards Airbus.
In November 2011, Ghana took delivery of the first of the aircraft involved in the scandal. They are Airbus C295 military transporters and the cost Ghanaian taxpayers over US$105 million.
The money was secured as a loan from the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). The loan agreement apparently paved the way for a Brazilian company- Contracta Engenharia, to build the hangar for the aircraft at US$17 million.


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