General News of Monday, 27 May 2019
A New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) communications officer Ernest Yaw Kumi has asked the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, to go to court and challenge the Special Prosecutor if he feels the allegations leveled against him are untrue.
He has also ruled out claims of personal vendetta against the legislator by Martin Amidu.
To him, it makes no sense for anyone to say that Martin Amidu was a mission to go after Mahama Ayariga because of perceived feud between the two of them.
Mr. Yaw Kumi said the Special Prosecutor had been consistently attacked by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for doing nothing after he was appointed but after he started work, they are changing the narrative.
‘’I do not want to go into the substance of the matter because the case is in court. But the NDC over the past two weeks attacked Martin Amidu claiming he has done nothing and now that he has started work, they are complaining. You called for prosecution and it has started so why you are complaining?”
He said, ‘’the Deputy General Secretary for the NDC, Mr. Otokunor described the office as useless; you called for it, he has started so keep quiet and let him do his job.’’
The NDC he said does not have the mandate to select cases for the Special Prosecutor to prosecute.
‘’The Special Prosecutor is working in accordance with the law and so he should be allowed to work. If Ayariga believes he is innocent, he should go to court.’’
He was speaking to Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm.
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has sued the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga.
Mahama Ayariga is facing five counts of among other things, evasion of duties and taxes.
Joined to the suit is one Kendrick Akwasi Marfo of ATLAS-Rent-A-Car company.
It is the case of the Special Prosecutor that Mahama Ayariga ‘’…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.”
Meanwhile, the legislator says the allegations are not entirely true.
He denies evading tax because “taxes on all the vehicles have been paid. There is no tax owed on any of the vehicles…there is not even a 1 cedi tax owed on any of the vehicles.”
Mr Ayariga explained that it was no fault of his that ?6,000 instead of ?36,000 import duty was paid for the three Land Cruisers.
According to him, “when the vehicles came, Parliament wrote to Finance Ministry for exemption, Finance wrote to GRA granting the exemption and then assessed the exemption at 36,000 [cedis] then we gave the money to an agent to clear the vehicles.
“When the agent got to the port, he was told that the assessment by the Finance Ministry was wrong and that it was 6,000 [cedis] so he paid that and brought the balance back. So when Martin Amidu started the investigations and invited me, I told him I never went to the port so [he should] invite the agent and ask him how he paid ?6,000 instead of ?36,000,” the MP narrated.