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Regional News Fri, 12 Aug 2022

Labianca owner has done nothing wrong - Group

A youth group in the Western Region has come to the defense of the region’s representative on the Council of State, Madam Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, who has become the focus of calls for removal following a Special Prosecutor investigation that said her company unduly benefited from Customs benchmark value markdown.

In reaction to the calls for her to be removed from the State advisory body, the Concerned Youth of the Western Region (CYWR) says it will organize a huge demonstration if she is removed.

“We would hit the streets and make the Western region the focus of the nation for weeks if you remove our representative from the Council of State in this clear agenda of victimization,” said Mr. Samuel Ghansah, leader of the CYWR.

The CYWR’s response comes in the wake of calls for Madam Asomah-Hinneh to be removed from the Council of State because her frozen foods company, Labianca, benefited from a policy by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to proffer it markdown of between 5% and 10% in the Customs benchmark value on imports.

The Special Prosecutor who did the investigation has since retrieved Ghc1.07million from Labianca but the man who petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Frank Asare, is demanding that the woman be removed from the Council of State as well.

“First and foremost, the markdown value enjoyed by Labianca was not granted to the company in secret, but openly as a matter of the GRA’s own policy and so if later, another agency of state is saying that those markdown values were wrong then all that has to happen is for whatever money accrued to be returned and Labianca has done that.

“Secondly, and most relevantly, the question is what has Labianca enjoying markdown values got to do with the Western Region and our chosen representative on the Council of State?” Samuel Ghansah asked.

He pointed out that “those asking for our Council of State member to be removed are in essence asking that we be deprived of representation on the Council of State and this would be an illegality. We the youth, with the blessing of the people and traditional leaders of the region will therefore not sit down and allow anybody to deprive us of our position on the Council of State"

He called on President Akufo-Addo to ignore the calls saying they have no basis.

“Our Council of State rep did not put a gun to the head of the GRA for whatever benefits accrued to Labianca.”

Samuel Ghansah adds that “besides, Labianca is not the same as the Western region; it only so happens that the company owner is also our representative on the council of state.”
Source: Richard Asamoah
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