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Saturday, October 10, 2009

M&J saga: Government won’t accept reparation

Government says those involved would not be shielded
Government says those involved would not be shielded
The Government of Ghana has indicated that it is not going to accept any reparation from Mabey & Johson, a UK construction firm, in the bribery scandal.

The company pleaded guilty at the Southwark Crown Court in London to charges of corruption and violating sanctions, paying Ghanaian government officials a total of £470,000 in bribes in the 1990s to construct bridges in the country.

The court ruled against the company on Friday, 25 September 2009, and fined it £3.5m. It was also ordered to pay a £1.1m confiscation order and £350,000 in prosecution costs.

Mabey & Johson was, in addition, ordered to pay £1,413,611 as reparations to Ghana, Jamaica and Iraq.

But Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Information, insisted: “Let me state unequivocally that we are not accepting any reparation.”

He made the revelation on Joy FM’s current affairs programme, Newsfile on Saturday.

Mr Ablakwa said former directors of the company who were involved in the scandal have expressed their intention to contest the court’s ruling.

Meanwhile some officials in the current administration involved in the bribery scandal have resigned their post. George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, Minister of Health, and Alhaji Seidu Amadu, Minister of State at the Presidency, resigned on Friday.

A press statement issued by the Ministry of Information stated that the President, John Evans Atta Mills, accepted their resignation with “regret”.

The President has also invited the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), an independent body, to conduct investigations into the case.

Story by Isaac Essel

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