Airbus Scandal: UK Authorities question Samuel Mahama, John Mahama next

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Samuel Mahama, a brother of the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, has been questioned by UK authorities over his direct involvement in the Airbus bribery scandal.

Samuel Mahama, who has been a fugitive for some time now, until an Interpol arrest warrant was issued for his arrest, turned himself in for questioning in what has been described as one of the biggest and organised global corruption syndicate.

Signals being picked from the UK indicate that former President Mahama is next in line to be questioned after authorities grilled his brother a few days ago in the £50 million sale of three Airbus C-295 military planes to Ghana.

“He’s been tracked. We’ve obtained some information and it is early days yet,” a prosecution official, who wants to remain anonymous, told the media, adding: “We’re in touch with the appropriate quarters in Ghana to get the side of the former Ghanaian leader, John Mahama.”

John Mahama, according to top security sources, has not been able to travel outside Ghana to the Western countries, especially Europe due to fears of being rounded up over the case.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mahama, who is eyeing a return to the Presidency, faces a minimum jail term of five years or a fine for allegedly guaranteeing for his brother to procure a Ghanaian passport with false information.

According to Ghana’s former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, Mahama’s younger brother, Samuel Adam Mahama, procured a Ghanaian passport, which was guaranteed by former President Mahama, with false information in breach of the Passport and Travel Certificate Decree, 1967, NLCD 155.

Amidu said, by his actions, the former President abused his office.

The statement signed by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu alleged that John Dramani Mahama together with his elder brother Alfred Abdulai Mahama, who described himself as a Civil Servant, were the first and second guarantors for Samuel Adam Mahama’s Ghanaian passport.

The statement claimed that in the application process for the passport, Samuel Adam Mahama indicated that he attended the University of Ghana from January 6, 1992 to November 4, 1994. This information, according to the former Special Prosecutor, was false but the Mahamas overlooked that and guaranteed the application for him.

“The evidence also discloses that John Dramani Mahama described as former President, of Plot Number 6 North Street Tesano, P. O. Box AN 104, Accra was the first guarantor with Alfred Abdulai Mahama falsely described as a Civil Servant also of Plot No. 6 North Street Tesano, P. O. Box AN 104, Accra as the second guarantor to the application of Samuel Adam Mahama described as PROJECT MANAGER also of Plot Number 6 North Street Tesano, P. O. Box AN 104, Accra for a Ghanaian passport,” Amidu wrote.

“Former President John Dramani Mahama and his elder brother Alfred Abdulai Mahama both knew that Samuel Adam Mahama had not attended the University of Ghana from 6th January 1992 to 4th November 1994 but nonetheless guaranteed the application verifying the statements contained in the application for the Ghanaian passport. These were all done in furtherance of corruption and corruption-related offences,” the Special Prosecutor’s statement added.

The European plane maker has now agreed a record $4bn settlement with France, the United Kingdom and the United States as a result of the scandal. The US Department of Justice said the deal was the largest-ever foreign bribery settlement.

The scheme was run by a unit at Airbus’ French headquarters, which its one-time chief executive, Tom Enders, reportedly called “bullshit castle”.

The disclosures, made public after a nearly four-year investigation spanning sales to more than a dozen overseas markets, came as courts on both sides of the Atlantic formally approved settlements that lift a legal cloud that has hung over Europe’s largest aerospace group for years.

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