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General News Thu, 23 May 2019

Martin Amidu is under pressure to perform – Counsel For Ayariga

Lawyer Edudzi Tamakloe, a member of the legal team of Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Hon Mahama Ayariga, strongly believes the Special Prosecutor, "Martin Amidu is under severe pressure" from elements within the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to justify his appointment; hence the latter's resort to senseless and needless prosecutions.

He accuses the Special Prosecutor of "not taking his time to legally conduct investigations" into matters brought before his attention for possible trial.

First Case By OSP

The Special Prosecutor has sued the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for using public office for private benefit. The former minister of state is accused of tax evasion in the clearance of three Toyota V8 vehicles.

In the writ dated March 22, 2019, the Bawku Central MP faces four counts of fraudulent evasion of customs duties and taxes, using public office for private benefit, dealing in foreign exchange without licence and transfer of foreign exchange from Ghana through an unauthorised dealer.

This is the first case the Office is pursuing in court since its formation more than a year ago.

Joined to the suit is one Kendrick Akwasi Marfo of ATLAS-Rent-A-Car company, for purchasing the “fraudulent” vehicles from Mr Ayariga.

Mr Marfo, 50, is also accused of deliberately evading tax in the purchase of the vehicles from the lawmaker.

But speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia programme, Lawyer Edudzi Tamakloe was optimistic his client will triumph in the end.

Though he refused to go into the merit of the case, he added that the Special Prosecutor may dent his image if he decides to work under pressure and the dictates of his bosses.

"Martin Amidu has no case against Mahama Ayariga. How can a case which was filed on 28th March 2019 land in court now. It is just a cover to the mess that has been created in his office....The office of the Special Prosecutor is just a needless waste of the tax payer's monies," Lawyer Tamakloe said.

More On The Writ

According to the writ, "Mahama Ayariga aged 44 years in November 2017 at Tema in the Greater Accra Region did fraudulently evade customs duties and taxes by paying GH¢6,062.86 instead of the approved duties and taxes of GH¢36,597.15 to clear three Toyota V8 Land Cruisers.”

He is also accused of allegedly abusing his office as a public officer for his private benefit by “selling three Toyota V8 Land Cruisers with registration numbers GR 2220-18, GR 2221-18 and GR 2222-18 meant to be used for your official duties as a Member of Parliament to Kendrick Akwasi Marfo of ATLAS-Rent-A-Car at a price of GH¢40,000 each.”

The Bawku Central MP is also among other things being accused by the Special Prosecutor of transferring “foreign exchange from Ghana through an unauthorised dealer contrary to sections 15(3) and 29(1) of the Foreign Exchange Act 2006, Act 723.”

Source: peacefmonline.com