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Politics of Monday, 15 July 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Ayariga questions Amidu's motive for filing new charges

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, is questioning the motive behind the fresh new charges filed against him by Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu.

The five new charges, which are not so different from the previous ones that were slashed by an Accra High Court, borders largely on alleged fraudulent evasion of taxes, fraudulent evasion of customs duties and dealing in foreign exchange without a license.

The Court said the Special Prosecutor was not allowed by its law to prosecute the Bawku Central MP on the charges.

All the charges relate to the MP’s importation of three Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles in 2017, partly funded by a loan facility guaranteed by Parliament and accessible for all MPs.

A businessman, Kendrick Marfo, is also being charged by the Special Prosecutor for the second time.

The first of five counts, according to the Statement of Offence, relates to “fraudulent evasion of customs duties and taxes contrary to section 121 (2) (f) of the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891).”

The second count relates to Mr Ayariga’s use of “public office to for private benefit contrary to section 179C (a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).”

On that count, Mr Amidu claims the Legislator violated the law when he sold three Toyota V8 Land Cruisers which were to be used for his official duties to Kendrick Marfo for $48,000 each.

However, speaking to Joy News, Mahama Ayariga, insist he has done no wrong, especially that he was paying back the loan granted him by the government for the purchase of the vehicles in question.

“What are you doing?” he quizzed. “A loan is given to someone to buy a brand new vehicle, the person goes to buy slightly used vehicles, the person is paying the loan back – so far over 140,000 Ghana cedis of my salary has been deducted to pay off the loan. Really what is the issue? How is that abuse of office?” he asks further.

He is confident that the case, which he describes as interesting, would be appropriately resolved by the Judge.

He wants the Mr Amidu to use his office to prosecute the cases for which the law established it

“We passed the law establishing his office to fight corruption, stealing of public money [but] in each instance, you should show that that is what you are pursuing,” he urged.