Mabey & Johnson bribery debate: CDD calls for restraint
The Centre for Democratic Development Ghana (CDD), has called for restraint in the way the Mabey and Johnson bribery allegations involving some high ranking Ghanaian officials is being discussed on the airwaves.
Victor Brobbey , a Research fellow of the Centre, explained that this would ensure that judgments was not passed in the court of public opinion before institutions tasked to investigate the issue come out with their findings.
Sharing his thoughts with the Times on the case, Mr. Brobbey said though the case had gone far in the United Kingdom it was in its early stages as far as Ghana was concerned. He therefore, admonished Ghanaians against making political capital out of the matter as the phenomenon was not evidence of corruption in a particular government but “systematic failures that we have in the way we govern ourselves as a nation.”
Mr. Brobbey stressed the need for thorough and dispassionate investigations into the matter so that at the end of the day, there would be no shred of doubt in the findings of the investigative body. He welcomed the decision by Dr. George Sipa Yankey, Minister of Health and Alhaji Seidu Ahmadu, a Minister of State at the Presidency, to step aside to pave the way for investigations into the case.
“It is a step in the right direction given that the two are high profile government officials and it is the government that is going to be responsible for prosecution should there be need for one.”
Mr. Brobbey commended the decision to allow the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to conduct the investigations into the bribery allegations, saying it would guarantee neutrality in the matter.
On concerns expressed in certain quarters that the CHRAJ might be influenced by government, Mr. Brobbey said those concerns were largely unfounded, saying, “I think most observers will be pleased that it is CHRAJ that is doing the investigations. Investigations into the natter by CHRAJ is in order,” he contended.
It would be recalled that on September 2, a London court convicted officials of Mabey and Johnson, a UK construction firm for paying bribes to Ghanaian government officials for the award of road contracts in the country in the 1990s.
The Ghanaian officials mentioned in the case included Dr. George Sipa Yankey, then a director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Alhaji Seidu Ahmadu, who was a deputy Minister of Roads and Highways.
The two ministers have stepped aside from their current posts following the UK court case.