Renowned public intellectual Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare (Kwaku Azar) has called for reforms in Ghana’s legal system so as to impose hefty fines on companies that engage in corrupt schemes such as has been done to Airbus SE by the UK, US and France.
Airbus SE has been fined €3.6 billion for breaching laws regarding bribery in its quest to sell its products to various countries including Ghana.
Following this revelation, the lawyer and professor of Accounting has advised that Ghana emulates the example of these countries by promulgating laws that severely punish companies that corrupt our officials.
“Airbus has agreed to pay €3.6bn in penalties to regulators in France, UK and US for paying bribes to do business in several countries, including Ghana.
This suggests that we too need to reform our laws so that we can impose severe penalties on companies, like Airbus, that engage is such corrupt schemes,” he advised in reaction to the trending scandal
The scandal, according to facts of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA), implicates some Ghanaian government official who was allegedly induced through intermediaries. This revelation, Prof Azar, insists must be further investigated so that the persons involved can be unmasked.
“But our immediate attention must turn to who took the bribes. The EOCO, BNI, SP, and the AG must fish out and initiate prosecution of these bribe takers before March 30, 2020,” he suggested.
“These law enforcement agencies can start with the statement of facts in the deferred prosecution agreement,” he added.
Statement of facts on Ghana contained in the DPA
According to the court: “Between 2009 and 2015 an Airbus defence company engaged Intermediary 5, a close relative of a high ranking elected Ghanaian Government official (Government Official 1), as its BP in respect of the proposed sale of three aircraft to the Government of Ghana. A number of Airbus employees knew that Intermediary 5 was a close relative of Government Official 1, a key decision maker in respect of the sales. A number of Airbus employees made or promised success based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5. False documentation was created by or with the agreement of Airbus employees in order to support and disguise these payments.
The payments were intended to induce or reward improper favour by the Government Official 1 towards Airbus.”
This, Prof Azar, points out should guide the investigators in unravelling the persons behind the code names.