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General News of Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Airbus scandal: Too much noise, name-calling among politicians – Communications expert

Political Communications expert, Dr Kobby Mensah has asked personalities in the various political parties to calm down and wait for the conclusion of investigations by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, with regards to the Airbus bribery scandal.

According to him, the series of political bouts in the media about unknown government officials implicated in the bribery scandal adds no value to the investigation process neither does it add on to the understanding of the ordinary Ghanaian.

In an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb, Dr Mensah said, “...We can all make rational analysis as to whether they are the truth, we can’t tell because the truth would actually reside in the one who did the coding and the one who did the coding obviously doesn’t sit in Ghana…”

“Both the NDC and NPP have a case only that they have to make sure that they’re communicating it clearly and in a way and manner that it would sit well with the ordinary Ghanaian…there is too much noise, too many name-callings, too many innuendos and everything that would actually not help their cause,” he added.

Further adding emphasis to his argument, he said former President Mahama is not obliged to respond to any of the accusations since his name was not officially mentioned, however, his words on the issue would give more weight to the ongoing controversy.

He also advised the NDC to make clear, who they deem fit to speak on the issue to avoid contradictions.

In his opinion, this would help deliver a better understanding to Ghanaians on the party’s stance in the ongoing drama.



Background

News about former government officials’ involvement in the Airbus scandal broke on Sunday, February 2, 2020, after a Crown Court judgement found Airbus guilty of paying bribes in some countries from 2009 -2015 of which Ghana featured. It was highlighted that some government officials under the erstwhile Mills/Mahama administration facilitated the payment of bribes in the procurement deals with Airbus.

It must be noted, however, that no names were mentioned in the crown court ruling and documents. The terms government officials and intermediaries were used instead.

Without any bureaucratic delays whatsoever, President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo issued a directive referring the Office of the ‘Citizen Vigilante’ to begin further probe into the case.

Parts of the president’s statement read; “The attention of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been drawn to a 31st January 2020 judgement of the Crown Court at Southwark, in the United Kingdom… “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)”...President Akufo-Addo has taken notice of the judgement and its implications and has referred it to the Office of Special Prosecutor to collaborate with its UK counterparts to conduct a prompt inquiry to determine the complicity or otherwise of any Ghanaian government official, past or present, involved in the said scandal, and to take the necessary legal action against any such official, as required by Ghanaian law.”



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