The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, who was standing trial over alleged procurement breaches in an ambulance purchase has been acquitted and discharged by the Accra High Court.
Mr Ayariga together with six others were charged by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for contravening the procurement Act.
His acquittal was after the court had upheld their respective submission of no case after they were asked to open their defence.
The accused persons were Hawa Ninchema, Sumaila Ewuntomah Abudu, Alex Avade, Alhaji Abdul-Mumuni Jesewunde, Mary-Stella Adapesa, Mumuni Yakubu Nambe and Mahama Ayariga.
The accused persons were represented by lawyer Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe.
Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu in 2019 filed the charges against National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga.
The new charges filed at an Accra High Court accused the NDC MP of using his public office for his personal gains in importing vehicles into the country illegally.
Mr. Ayariga, who was dragged before the court was facing a total of five charges of using public office for private benefit and profit.
He is alleged to have fraudulently evaded customs duties and taxes on the importation of the vehicles into the country.
The MP is also being accused of abusing his office as an MP by selling three Toyota V8 Land Cruisers meant to be used by him for his official duties to Kenderick Akwasi Marfo of Atlas-Rent-A-Car at the price of $40,000 each. He has been charged alongside the MP.
According to the Special Prosecutor, Mr. Marfo stands accused for “Acting in collaboration with a public officer for the public officer’s benefit.”
Mr. Ayariga has already pleaded not guilty to using public office for private gain and was granted a self-recognizance bail of GH¢100,000 by the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe.
This was after the court dismissed an application challenging the qualification and capacity of Mr. Amidu as the Special Prosecutor.
The judge in her ruling also dismissed charges relating to evasion of taxes saying they did not state any specific act of corruption or corruption related issues hence do not fall within the mandate of the Special Prosecutor but retained the charge of using public office for private gain.
Mr. Marfo who was charged along with Mr. Ayariga in connection with the V8 cars was discharged since the charge against him was struck out by the court.
Source: Daily Mail GH