‘Are you my coequal’ mantra shouldn’t resolve Labianca saga – Kwaku Azar demands

Kissi Agyebeng And Col. Kwadwo Damoah SP Customs Kissi Agyebeng and Colonel (rtd) Kwadwo Damoah

Fri, 12 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

US-based Ghanaian lawyer and scholar, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare (alias Kwaku Azar), has expressed discontent over the introduction of seniority in the matter involving Labianca Company Limited.

His comment comes on the back of the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Colonel (rtd) Kwadwo Damoah's assertion that “small boy” Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, was trying to dent his hard won reputation, the reason he implicated him in his findings in the evolving Labianca saga.

"Anybody who has read that report very well, would know that basis of that and luckily for me, God is always on my side. Before that report came, that person had made statement to some people who had come (to tell me that), he was going to publish something that will discredit me and he will do that and I even sent people to go and tell him that he's a small boy and I am older than him. I have lived a meaningful life and if he attempts to destroy me, it won't be easy for him," the Customs boss said in a viral video.

"People have tried it, I have survived and this one too I will survive," Colonel Damoah added while addressing senior Customs officers at a retreat in Kumasi on Wednesday.

Commenting on the development in an August 11 Facebook post, Kwaku Azar said he was disappointed by seniority issues which have come up in a simple matter.

“GOGO expresses its profound disappointment that seniority and threats have reared their usual heads in this simple matter. The issues are: (1) whether the applicant and transactions qualified for applying for a customs advanced ruling (CAR); (2) what is the legal basis for issuing the CAR, which reduced the benchmark values; (3) whether, under the law, Mr. Adu had the power to issue the CAR? (4) why the customs technical service bureau(CTSB) negative advice on the application was ignored or set aside; (5) how the application was resuscitated after the negative advice; (6) whether the CAR was brought to the notice of the Commissioner General; and (7) whether there is influence peddling,” Kwaku Azar wrote on his wall.

He added that the judiciary was the only place to ascertain whether there were corrupt dealings in the Labianca issue.

He called for an enquiry into the matter as well indictment of the officers implicated in the findings of the Special Prosecutor.

“These are serious issues that belong to a judicial forum constituted to determine whether there is corruption and corruption related tax evasion, especially as the implicated parties are politically exposed persons.We must not reduce this to, and resolve it by, the proverbial “are you my coequal” mantra. GOGO calls for an expanded inquiry into the affected company’s customs related activities, indictment of affected officials pending the resolution of the facts, assessment of interest and penalties, and the usual presumption of innocence in the judicial forum,” the post concluded.


The Special Prosecutor in an investigative report dated August 3, 2022, and titled: “Report of Investigation into Alleged Commission of Corruption and Corruption Related Offences involving Labianca Group of Companies and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority” indicated that the frozen foods company owner, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, used her position to evade taxes.

According to the report, Ms. Asomah-Hinneh used her position as a member of the Council of State and member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to influence a favourable decision from the Customs Divisions of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), leading to a reduction in the tax liabilities of Labianca Company Ltd.

The report further noted that an amount of GH¢1.074 million which represents a deficit in import duties paid to the state has been retrieved.

The report has elicited a strong response from some persons who have a connection with the saga.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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