Ayariga quizzes Amidu’s motive for filing fresh charges

Mahama Ayariga, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, has questioned the motive behind the fresh charges filed against him by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

He insisted that he had done no wrong, especially when he was paying back the loan granted him by the government for the purchase of the vehicles in question.

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

The court said the Special Prosecutor was not allowed by its law to prosecute Mr Ayariga on the charges which related to his importation of three Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles in 2017, partly funded by a loan facility guaranteed by Parliament and accessible for all MPs including Kendrick Marfo, a businessman is also being charged by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for the second time.

The first of five counts, according to the Statement of Offence, related to Mr Ayariga’s ‘fraudulent evasion of customs duties and taxes’ contrary to section 121 (2) (f) of the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891), the second related to the use of ‘public office for private benefit’ contrary to section 179C (a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

On that count, Martin Amidu, the Special Prosecutor, claimed 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.

Mr Ayariga quizzed: “What are you doing? 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 GHȻ140,000 of my salary has been deducted to pay off the loan, really what is the issue? Where is that abuse of office?

“I am confident the case, which is interesting, will be appropriately resolved by the court, I want 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 what you are pursuing,” he indicated. –myjoyonline.com

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