The two ministers whose names came up during the trial of Mabey & Johnson in London are Dr. George Sipa Yankey, Minister of Health and Amadu Seidu, Minister of State at the Presidency.
In a press statement released Friday October 9, 2009 and signed by the Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman indicating the President’s acceptance of the resignation, it said this followed a lengthy closed-door discussions held over the last two days with the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, Attorney-General and other close aides of the President.
The two men were mentioned as having been bribed by the UK firm about eight years ago. Dr. Yankey was then a director at the Finance Ministry and Seidu was a deputy Minister of Roads and Highways.
In the statement, President John Atta Mills expressed regret over the resignations and also decided to invite an independent body, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), to conduct investigations into those allegations of bribery against Ghanaian public officials in the said case. He was hopeful that the decision to ask CHRAJ to investigate the case would offer a platform for the public officials named in the case to clear their names and hard won reputations.
Mabey & Johnson was recently tried and found guilty of corruption by a British court.
According to the British media, London’s Southwark Crown Court heard that altogether the Mabey and Johnson had parted with pay-outs totalling £1m.
During the investigation, it emerged Mabey & Johnson first started paying backhanders in Jamaica in 1993.
As the years passed, its “culture” of bribery spread to Ghana and other countries including Madagascar, Angola, Mozambique and Bangladesh.
John Hardy QC, one of the SFO prosecutors, said following the company’s decision to “refer itself” to the SFO, a number of directors had left and a new board had been elected.
Mabey & Johnson was found guilty and fined about £5m.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi