Almost 72 hours have passed since it was announced that the INTERPOL under the Ghana Police Service, has issued an arrest warrant for the capture of one Samuel Adam Mahama and three others mentioned by the Akufo-Addo government in the Airbus bribery scandal, but the website of INTERPOL based in France is yet to reflect details of the individuals.
Several searches conducted on the website of INTERPOL; https://www.interpol.int/en/How-we-work/Notices/View-Red-Notices, today continue by The Herald, to draw blank.
A press release by Ghana's Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had said that " following a request by the office of the Special Prosecutor through the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to the Interpol General Secretariat, the latter has issued a Red Notice in respect of the following individuals; Samuel Adam Foster alias Adam Mahama, Philip Sean Middlemiss, Leanne Sarah Davis and Sarah Furneaux.
But none of the names is on the website of the international law enforcement agency which has its headquarters in Lyon- France, and it is not clear when this notice called "Red Notice", will appear on the internet platform for the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to have his day.
For now, the move remains a local initiative by the INTERPOL office in Ghana under the command and control of the CID boss, Ken Yeboah.
Meanwhile, Alex Segbefia, a former Crown Prosecutor in UK, has in an article sought to give an insight in the workings INTERPOL saying "a Red Notice is usually issued against a criminal fugitive on the run who seeks actively to evade justice. It is a notice published by Interpol to law enforcement agents across the world requesting them to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending his extradition."
He explained that "when it is published, it is not Interpol seeking the location and arrest of the person, but rather the country that requests the publication, adding "Procedurally, Interpol would publish a Red Notice at the request of a member country provided the request meets the constitutional requirements of Interpol. A Red Notice is, however, a voluntary system."
According to the former Minister of Health in the John Mahama administration, "a state is therefore not obliged to make an arrest based on its publication and can decide to ignore it. This is because it is not an arrest warrant, and countries can themselves determine what weight to give such notice."
To him "what is unusual about this particular Red Notice is that Ghana Government knows where Samuel Mahama lives in the UK up to his exact residential address".
Mr. Segbefia warned that "One needs to bear in mind that all the hullabaloo about Airbus emanated from the UK courts, who have dealt with it and settled it. And yet even though he and the other persons named in the Red Notice are British Nationals, the UK government has not thought it fit to proffer any charges against them. He is not considered a flight risk so no restrictions have been imposed on him and he has not been asked to hand over his passport".
He questioned "why would the UK Government, based on the same facts as are narrated in the Red Notice, arrest him for Ghana government? Besides, Ghana has an extradition treaty with the UK. It also has a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement with the UK.
Mr. Segbefia again questioned "Why publish Red Notice when the Ghana Government can formally ask for his extradition through regular channels? The Special Prosecutor must be aware that it is forlorn hope that the UK government would extradite the three named persons".
The former Crown Prosecutor in UK noted that "it is interesting how recently the scurrilous story found its way unto the front pages of the controversial Sun newspaper in the UK, adding "individuals behind that publication are suspected to be closely tied to the family of Akufo-Addo".
Based on his expert knowledge, "this so-called arrest warrant is a red herring. It is an extension of their game plan to embarrass President John Mahama because of the impending elections".