Amidst the public buzz about reports of the International Police (Interpol) issuing an arrest warrant for the brother of former President John Mahama, Samuel Adams Mahama, Whatsup News has been finding out that no such arrest warrant is reflected on Interpol’s notices.
A search on the website of the Interpol threw up over seven hundred warrants issued for wanted persons, but none was named Samuel Foster or Samuel Adam Mahama.
What the Interpol has done basically is to put Mr. Mahama’s name on red alert, after Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, requested for that through the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police, Whatsup News gathered.
A red alert simply means that Mr. Mahama is wanted by Ghanaian officials in connection with an alleged offence. It does not mean, as appears to be circulating in the media that Interpol wants to arrest him for a specific offence that Interpol knows about.
Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, had requested Interpol to trigger the red alert after Mr. Mahama snubbed a summons that the SP had sent him in connection with the Airbus scandal in which the European multinational aerospace company paid bribes to its middlemen in a bid to try to get them use their connections in various governments to help secure contracts.
For Ghana, an amount of US$ 5 million was reportedly paid to middlemen and government officials during the erstwhile administration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to secure a military aircraft contract.
A UK court has fined Airbus 3billion pounds for the bribes that went to government officials and their assigns. The UK Serious Fraud Office, however, did not specifically name these officials, as investigations progressed.
Court documents had named such politically exposed government officials by numbers. “Government official 1” in these documents have been alleged by members of the ruling NPP to be former President Mahama due to Mr. Mahama’s connection to Samuel Adams Mahama, a middle man.
Ghana purchased three military aircraft from Airbus between 2009 and 2012 under the Mills Mahama administration. Eight years later in February 2020, plane-maker, and major defence and aerospace equipment supplier agreed to pay a record $4 billion (€3.6 billion) after reaching settlements with investigators in Britain, France and the United States to end a probe that had begun four years ago.
London’s High Court approved the settlement struck with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
Ghana’s purchase of the three aircraft from Airbus was featured in the case but the SFO could not name politically exposed government officials whose influence some Airbus middlemen were suspected to have peddled for bribes in that contract.
Mr. Samuel Adams Mahama, brother of former President Mahama who is a UK citizen is believed to be one of them, along with Philip Sean Middlemiss; Sarah Davis and Sarah Furneaux
Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu issued a summons for Mr. Mahama and the others to fly down to Ghana and help with investigations into the allegations that he took bribes but he did not honour the invitation
The request to Interpol to issue a red alert for them is, therefore, a follow up to the summons.
Meanwhile, an interesting aspect of the whole saga is that when the three aircraft were bought from Airbus, Mr. Martin Amidu, the Special Prosecutor, was the Attorney General at the time and he approved the deal as the State’s principal legal officer.
Current Deputy Defence Minister, Derek Oduro, had travelled to the UK to inspect the aircraft as an MP on the Defence Committee of Parliament and approved the purchase.
The NDC has said that the red alert that Ghana has convinced Interpol to trigger is a political red herring meant to discredit their presidential candidate-John Mahama.
“…The Mahama-Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang ticket is enjoying a lot of goodwill and so the NPP are intentionally trying to take attention away from it. Mr. Samuel Mahama is living in the UK, he is known to the UK law enforcement and there is no case out for him,” said Sam George Nartey, NDC MP for Ningo Prampram.
However, the NPP has insisted there is a case to look into with Deputy Information Minister, Pius Hadzide claiming former President Mahama had taken bribes and that this is the reason that Mr. Mahama has supposedly refused to address the Airbus scandal.