General News of Thu, 16 Aug 2018146
EOCO seizes 3 Land Cruisers belonging to Mahama Ayariga
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has seized three land cruisers belonging to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga, Starrfmonline.com can confirm.
The three vehicles were impounded on suspicion that the lawmaker may have abused his office to import them into the country, raising an element of corruption among others.
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has been investigating the former Minister under the John Mahama administration in the past few months, accusing him of obstructing investigations by sending a delegation of chiefs and religious leaders to intercede on his behalf.
According to Mr. Amidu, the former Sports Minister has been sending personal friends, former colleagues, chiefs and pastors to stop him [Amidu] from ongoing investigations of corruption established against Ayariga. Mr. Amidu added that the NDC lawmaker also failed to honour an invitation by EOCO.
Mr. Amidu said “After undertaking preliminary investigations into the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences including the abuse of public office for private gain by the Honourable Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for the Bawku Central Constituency, my office decided that there were sufficient grounds to invite the suspect for the conduct of full investigations into the allegations.
“The preliminary investigations pertained to the importation into Ghana through corrupt means and corruption-related activities of three used white Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles by using a Parliamentary Resolution dated 7th April 2017 contracting a facility of US$22, 500, 000.00 between the Parliamentary Service and the Societe GeneraleBank (Ghana) which was for the purchase of one brand new official vehicle for each of the 275 Members of Parliament.
“Due to the fact that the investigations division of my office was in the process of being set up, I invited the Economic and Organised Crime Office to undertake a joint investigation of the suspected offences with my office, as permitted under our establishment enactments.”
“The suspect refused to report to the offices of EOCO in Accra as demanded by a publication at page 26 of the Daily Graphic of 20th June, 2018 with vehicle numbers GR 2220-18, GR 2221-18, GR2222-18, GT 2243(sic)-17 and GT 4054-13, consequently, it fell on me to write to the Speaker of Parliament with a copy to Honourable Mahama Ayariga (the suspect) in my letter dated 26th June 2018 to release the suspect to report to the EOCO on 3rd July 2018,” he said.
“When the suspect, Honourable Mahama Ayariga receive his copy of my letter to the Speaker, he immediately started to get people who he perceived could put pressure on me (such as personal friends, former colleagues, chiefs, men of God etc.) to abate the investigation being conducted in the performance of my functions under Acts 959 and Act 804,” Martin Amidu added.
The statement added “I asked the EOCO on a number of occasions to warn the suspect to desist from his conduct of obstructing the investigation by soliciting others to put pressure on me to abate same to no avail…I have accordingly, on 3rd August 2018, requested the EOCO to investigate my complaint against the suspect for obstructing me, the Special Prosecutor, in the performance of the functions of my office as the Special Prosecutor.”
The MP was not readily available to comment on the issue when Starrfmonline.com reached him on phone.