The Convener for Fixing the Country Movement, Ernest Kofi Owusu-Bempah Bonsu has indicated his group’s readiness to carry out their intended picketing on November 16th 2023 at the frontage of the office of former President John Mahama.
“Truth is, we’re unperturbed and unfazed by any of the shenanigans flying around. We’re ready for the actual action on November 16th, bearing in mind that we have complied with the statutory requirement to give notice to the police, and indeed the subsequent arrangement with the police for protection paves the way for the protest to come off as planned”.
Owusu Bempah made this known at a press conference organized as a result of what he described as, the nonchalant attitude being deployed by the investigative authorities on the Airbus corruption saga.
He emphasized that, since the day Fixing the Country Movement served notice to publicly picketing at the frontage of the office of former President John Mahama, they have received threats from various NDC quarters.
“Specifically, the NDC Greater Accra Youth Organizer, Amos Blessing Amorse has publicly declare “fatwa” on our membership and even threatened to physically unleash thugs on us”.
Owusu-Bempah however, advised the NDC Youth to drop their convoluted theatrics and learn a thing or two from King Lear in the Shakespearean era, who died before he could reconcile himself to his loss.
It would be recalled that, the NDC Greater Accra NDC Youth planned to embark on a massive clean up exercise the very day Fixing the Country Movement wanted to picked at the former President John Dramani Mahama’s office frontage.
Meanwhile, information gathered indicates that, because Fixing the Country Movement have rescheduled their picketing to November 16th 2023, the NDC Youth have equally postponed their clean up exercise date to again coincided with that of Fixing the Country Movement.
However, as to if the two groups could be allowed to carry out their agenda on the same date by the Ghana Police Service, only time would tell.
Below is the full press statement:
PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY
FIXING THE COUNTRY MOVEMENT ON AIRBUS/MAHAMA CORRUPTION SLATED FOR 16TH NOVEMBER
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, please accept the compliment of the entire membership of the Fixing the Country Movement.
About two weeks ago, Fixing the Country Movement notified the police service of our intention to engage in picketing and public manifestation at the frontage of the office of former President John Mahama.
It has been a marathon back and forth with the police regarding the date of the protest, but we’re happy to announce that Thursday, 16th of November 2023 has been slated as the day for our public manifestation.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, section 1 of the Public Order Act (Act 491), provides that any person who desires to hold any special event within the meaning of that Act in any public place shall notify the police of his intention not less than 5 days before the date of the special event.
Our Notice of Intention to the police was basically to exercise the constitutional rights under Article 21(1)(d) and (f) of the 1992 constitution.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, Fixing the Country Movement is organising this public manifestation as a result of the nonchalant attitude being deployed by our investigative authorities on the Airbus corruption saga.
As you may all be aware, it has been over three years when Airbus SE, a global provider of civilian and military aircraft based in France, agreed to pay combined penalties of nearly $4billion to resolve foreign bribery charges with authorities in the United States, France and the United Kingdom arising out of the Company’s scheme to use third-party business partners to bribe government officials around the world.
According to admissions and court documents, beginning in at least 2008 and continuing until at least 2015, Airbus engaged in and facilitated a scheme to offer and pay bribes to decision makers and other influencers, including foreign officials, in order to obtain improper business advantages and win lucrative contracts in several countries including Ghana.
As a matter of fact, judicial records made public on 31 January 2020 by the British and American authorities, which Airbus acknowledges to be true, shows that between 2009 and 2015 an Airbus subsidiary specialising in the defence sector hired the brother of a high-ranking Ghanaian elected official(Government Official 1), as well as a friend of the said brother and a third person to serve as commercial partners in the sale of three military transport aircraft, model C295, to Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen, it turned out that Philip Middlemiss, a renowned British actor, Leanne Davis and John Mahama’s brother, Samuel Adam Mahama were the intermediaries between Airbus and former President Mahama, otherwise known as Government Official I as identified by the US and UK authorities.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the Airbus corruption is the biggest corruption case ever. Indeed, payment of bribes were made and received and the beneficiary was GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL 1.
In fact, documents were falsified in making the payments to disguise the payment of bribes to GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL 1.
Paragraph 136 of the US Court documents actually described Government official I as having a reputation for bribe taking.
“Government Official 1” had such a reputation as a prolific bribe-collector that within three weeks of the election of the incoming Government, AND BEFORE IT WAS SWORN IN, Airbus reached agreement with brother of “Government Official 1,” described in the US version of Court documents as “Individual 1.”
Interestingly, the British judge in charge of the case found that Airbus had sought, through these kickbacks, to obtain an “undue favour” from a member of the Ghanaian government.
As a result, Ghana bought three Airbus C295 military transport aircraft – two in 2011 and another in 2015, all under the presidency of Mills/Mahama.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the UK court documents also revealed that the intermediaries established a company in Ghana in December 2009 and that a company with the same name was established in the United Kingdom in February of the following year.
The Ghanaian company they looked into was owned by the brother of Mr Mahama, and a British television actor who had publicly claimed to be the “best friend” of John Mahama.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, who had found the Airbus corruption credible enough to open an investigation in February 2020, announced that he had summoned four “suspects,” Philip Middlemiss and his collaborator Sarah Furneaux, as well as Leanne Davis and Samuel Adam Mahama.
Indeed, the current Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyabeng has in a public statement indicated that he is investigating the matter.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, it has been over a year since the Special Prosecutor announced the new phase of investigations into the matter.
I personally petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor on 15th of September 2023 for an urgent action on the Airbus/Mahama case.
We’re yet to receive any response from the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
In the light of the above, we deemed it prudent and necessary to engage in public manifestation to bring attention to whoever it may concern to see to it that immediate action is taken on the Mahama/Airbus corruption affair.
Respectfully, everyone who is privy to the core details of the series of court documents published by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of the United Kingdom cannot allege ignorance of the persons who have brought our nation into this international shame.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, as trusting citizens, we want the Ghanaian justice system to open a thorough enquiry on the Airbus corruption because we strongly believe former President Mahama’s culpability in this stinking corruption case as established by admissions and supporting court documents from the US and UK can never be in doubt.
In all honesty, Fixing the Country Movement holds the view that Mr Mahama has a lot of questions to answer and as such we want to pursue a public manifestation to bring attention to the issues that have been allow to die a natural dead by our investigative authorities.
We believe in public accountability and want to reiterate the point that no one is above accountability.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, if after the 16th November public manifestation, there’s still no action in that regards, Fixing the Country Movement will continue to lead a citizens coalition to congregate and picket in front of the office of former President John Mahama, the US Embassy and the British High Commission until action is taken on the Airbus saga.
We do not doubt the competence of our investigative authorities to get to the bottom of this massive international corruption, but like most Ghanaians, we’re growing sceptical of the lip service being paid to the Airbus corruption saga.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, let me conclude by pointing out that, since the day we served notice to engage in this public manifestation, we have received threats from various NDC quarters.
Specifically, the NDC Greater Accra Youth Organizer, Amos Blessing Amorse has publicly declare “fatwa” on our membership and even threatened to physically unleash thugs on us.
It is quite obvious that there’s a distinct lack of perspective around here, and we will advise these NDC thugs to drop their convoluted theatrics and learn a thing or two from King Lear in the Shakespearean era, who died before he could reconcile himself to his loss.
Truth is, we’re unperturbed and unfazed by any of the shenanigans flying around. We’re ready for the actual action on November 16th, bearing in mind that we have complied with the statutory requirement to give notice to the police, and indeed the subsequent arrangement with the police for protection paves the way for the protest to come off as planned.
Let’s all say no to corruption.
Thank you for your indulgence
Ernest Kofi Owusu-Bempah Bonsu (Convener – Fixing the Country Movement