Mahama not immune from prosecution – Akufo-Addo chastises Amidu’s decision
President Nana Akufo-Addo needled former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, accusing him conferring immunity on former President John Dramani, who the latter had accused of being the Government Official One in the Airbus scandal.
Deflecting claims of political interference levelled against him by Amidu, the President in a nine-page response said Mr Amidu was at liberty to exercise his “strange discretion”.
“Indeed, even when you erroneously and without moral or legal basis decided to confer immunity from investigation and prosecution on the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, in connection with the infamous five million Euro Airbus bribery affair, by refusing to investigate him on the clearly untenable grounds of his being a candidate for President, neither the President nor any member of the Executive challenged that strange exercise of your discretion.
Mr Amidu had in his report on the Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal fished out the former President as the coded Government Official in British court document accused of offering a contract to his brother for the purchase of aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces.
The said brother who the Special Prosecutor later said was Samuel Adams Mahama had received millions of euros in what the court document described as bribes to facilitate the deal.
The President directed the Special Prosecutor to investigate the matter.
But Mr Amidu failed to submit the report of the investigations, only to indicate that Mr Mahama was said the official.
That triggered a war of words between the two former appointees in the Mills administration—Mahama, the Vice-President and Amidu, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
Mr Amidu in his report had mentioned that Mr Mahama was the Government Official One mentioned in the British court documents which indicted aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, for paying bribes in Ghana and other countries between 2011 and 2015.
The British and American governments found the company culpable after investigating its business deals dating back more than a decade.
Mr Mahama said the Special Prosecutor’s conduct with respect to the Agyapa report was an attempt at equalisation and called out Mr Amidu who he also used unprintable words on.
He dared the Special Prosecutor to provide his evidence which suggested he was engaged in any acts of corruption
Mr Amidu fired back. The Special Prosecutor in a strongly worded statement on November 9, 2020, challenged the former president and NDC flagbearer to be brave and present himself for investigations into the scandal.
He said he had enough evidence to prove that the former President was complicit in his investigations.
He added that he had decided to hold onto his investigations until after the December 7 general elections were over.
“Your Excellency, the wise and the brave former President John Dramani Mahama, man-up, wise-up, and be brave enough to come with two lawyers of your own choice to be cautioned and interrogated by this Office to demonstrate your valour and wisdom as not being elected Government Official 1 and also as not being the first guarantor to Samuel Adam Mahama’s passport application.”
In an election year in which the government could milk its opponent’s woes, the President said the chronology of events showed that “Surely this was in furtherance of the protection of the independence of your office.
The President added that he was therefore surprised that Mr Amidu will cry foul when he was asked to give the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and other government officials a fair hearing in the case regarding the Agyapa Royalties deal.
“It is stranger still that you would now suggest that the President, who some may argue, would have benefitted politically from the prosecution of John Mahama, has interfered with your independence by suggesting that you apply the rules of natural justice to officials concerned with the Agyapa assessment.”
The statement further noted that President acted in connection with the recommendations made in the report which included the decision taken for the deal to be sent back to Parliament for review and therefore cannot be accused of trying to strong-arm the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
“The President welcomed the report and acted on it solely within his mandate, which was the proper thing to do.
“It is difficult, therefore, to further comment on that particular claim since nothing the President or any official did could be remotely construed as interfering with your mandate as Special Prosecutor.”
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