Airbus Scandal: You conferred immunity on Mahama without interference from Presidency – Akufo-Addo to Amidu

President Akufo-Addo has forcefully denied allegations by the country’s first Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, that he interfered in the latter’s work.

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In a 40-points response to Mr. Amidu, a day after his resignation as the Special Prosecutor, Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante said President Akufo-Addo did not ask him (Martin Amidu) to prosecute former President John Dramani Mahama although he would have benefitted politically.

According to the Presidency, after Martin Amidu identified the former President as Government Official One in the infamous Airbus scandal, an untenable ground was given by the then Special Prosecutor as to why the former President could not be prosecuted.

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Among other things, Mr. Amidu had explained that John Mahama was the flagbearer of the largest opposition party in the country in the 2020 elections hence his decision to hold off interrogating the former head of state.

While many interest groups including members of the Akufo-Addo-led government had rubbished this reason and charged Mr. Amidu to prosecute the former President, the Presidency remained quiet on the issue.

Citing this as clear evidence that President Akufo-Addo never interfered with the work carried out by the Office of the Special Prosecutor as is being alleged by the renowned ‘Citizen Vigilante’, President Akufo-Addo said Mr. Amidu was allowed to stand his ground despite his reason having no legal basis.

“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.

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“Surely this was in furtherance of the protection of the independence of your office,” part of the statement said.

The President added that he is therefore surprised that Mr. Amidu will cry foul when he is 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 from the Presidency further said the 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.”