Politics

Akufo Addo Government Plants Airbus Story In UK Newspaper

Akufo Addo Government Plants Airbus Story In UK Newspaper

Ghanaians yesterday woke up to portions of a well-choreographed publication in a UK-based newspaper; The Sun, in its Tuesday edition, saying the Ghana Police Service and Ghana’s Office of the Special Prosecutor, has declared a British television and radio actor, Philip Middlemiss, wanted over his role in the alleged £5 million airbus bribery.

Sun Newspaper

It said, Martin Amidu, had since February this year, launched a full-scale investigation into the matter by releasing passport details and issuing an international arrest warrants on some four people, including the British actor for questioning and ex-President John Mahama’s brother on their roles in the Airbus scandal.

Several media platforms in Ghana, picked the publication, saying ex-President Mahama, has been reported by the British media as being complicit in the £5million Airbus bribery scandal.

But The Herald’s information is that, the publication was orchestrated by a close relative of President Akufo-Addo, with huge connections with some British media houses and journalists, some of whom have been to Ghana and met with journalists on The Herald ahead of the 2016 Presidential and Parliament elections.

The publication was posted on every social media platform of appointees of the Akufo-Addo government and Presidential Staffers, as well as elements of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), but reports are emerging that, the publication was deliberately planted to embarrass ex-President Mahama.

Samuel Brian Buabeng, Nana Hesse Ogyiri, both Presidential Staffers together with Ernest Owusu–Bempah, Head of Corporate Communications at Ghana Gas, have been circulating The Sun’s publications and casting unsavory insinuations at ex-President Mahama.

The Herald’s findings show that, the same relative of President Akufo-Addo, was behind the Norwegian newspaper, Verdens Gang (VG), which had imputed corruption in the AMERI Energy transaction entered into by the Mahama government with the Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI Group).

The Norwegian newspaper, had published that a Pakistani-born Norwegian, Umar Farooq Zahoors, who until August 2015, was AMERI Group’s Chief Executive, was a wanted man internationally for alleged organized crime.

However, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum, chairman of the AMERI Group, was forced to issue a statement denying the Norwegian newspaper’s claims about Umar Farooq Zahoors and also debunked the issue that AMERI was shortchanging Ghanaians in the deal.

Interestingly, since assuming power the Akufo-Addo, have had to eat the humble pie and deal with AMERI Energy, after the government’s attempt to vary the terms of agreement reached by the Mahama government through a scandalous manner, collapsed with the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, sacked and replaced by John Peter Amewu.

Philip Middlemiss, according to The Sun’s publication is being sought after along with four others in relation to the £50 million sale of three Airbus C-295 military planes to Ghana.

According to the Sun, after starring in the ITV Soap, Middlemiss reportedly headed to Ghana to start making a film.

He then claims to have befriended the brother of the country’s former vice-president, before heading back to the UK, the publication said.

Middlemiss lives in a smart £400,000 detached property in Greater Manchester, reports The Sun, despite him being declared bankrupt in 2012 over unpaid tax. Documents from Ghana’s special prosecutor Amidu reveal that Middlemiss could have been a project manager for Airbus, which sold the planes, when the alleged bribery took place.

It is also alleged that he incorporated a company in the UK in 2010 through which he assisted Airbus with the suspect deal. Of those wanted two of the others are British nationals and the third is a dual national of the UK and Ghana, the Sun reported.

The Sun claimed that former President Mahama allegedly had links with the middlemen who facilitated the payments of bribes to key government officials when he was Vice President.

“Former Ghana president John Dramani Mahama is accused of having links to a corrupt network which received kickbacks during the contract process,” reported the Sun.

Part of the wanted four alongside the former President’s brother is former British actor Phil Middlemiss, who is alleged to be a key member the corrupt network.

Middlemiss, a close friend of John Mahama’s brother, is said to have temporarily relocated to Ghana to play his middleman role with his team for the sale of the military aircraft.

Middlemiss’s girlfriend Leanne Davis was reported to have told The Sun that she had no knowledge of any investigation. “I don’t know anything about that. Phil’s not here. I’m not sure when he’ll be back,” she said.

Pressed again, she replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” before closing her door. Mr Mahama also denies any wrongdoing.

A collaborative investigation by the UK, USA and France revealed that aeroplane manufactures Airbus, used middlemen to kickbacks bribes to Ghanaian government officials for the sale of the over £50million.

Following the exposure of the scandal, Airbus agreed to pay a £3 billion fine for the use of middlemen to sell planes.

Following the naming and involvement of former high-ranking former Ghanaian officials in the scandal, Ghana’s Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu launched further investigations into the matter in February.

Below is the titled “COBBLES PROBE Coronation Street’s Des Barnes actor Phil Middlemiss wanted by cops in Africa over alleged £5m air bribery scandal”. It was written by Richard Moriarty

EX-Corrie star Phil Middlemiss is wanted for questioning by police in Africa over an alleged £5million air bribery scandal.

The former actor, who played womanising bookie Des Barnes for eight years in the 1990s, was named by investigators in Ghana.

Middlemiss, 56, moved there after leaving the ITV soap to make a film but ran out of funding before it was finished.

He then worked as a “travel consultant” and said in one interview his best friend’s brother was vice-president of the country.

But he is being sought for questioning over the £50million sale of three Airbus C-295 military planes to the West African state.

Former Ghana president John Dramani Mahama is accused of having links to a corrupt network which received kickbacks during the contract process.

Ghana’s special prosecutor Martin Amidu launched a formal investigation in February and he announced he had summoned four people and released their passport details online.

They include Middlemiss, who lives in a smart £400,000 detached property in Greater Manchester despite him being declared bankrupt in 2012 over unpaid taxes.

Two other Britons and a UK/Ghanaian citizen are wanted for questioning.

In January, Airbus agreed to pay a £3billion fine after the UK, US and French authorities launched a joint investigation into the use of middlemen to sell planes.

In March, Mr Amidu revealed Middlemiss — whose Street co-stars included Raquel Watts actress Sarah Lancashire — was suspected of working as a project manager for Airbus.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor issued a public notice saying the four “are hereby invited to assist the on-going investigation of bribery and corruption” totalling more than 5million euros.

The investigation also includes “collaborating with Ghanaian public officers to use their public office for private profit or benefit in the purchase of three C-295 aircraft by the Government of Ghana from Airbus”.

Middlemiss’s girlfriend Leanne Davis, claimed last night they had no knowledge of any investigation.

She said: “I don’t know anything about that. Phil’s not here. I’m not sure when he’ll be back.”

Pressed again, she replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” before closing her door. Mr Mahama also denies any wrongdoing.

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