A legal showdown is brewing as Ghanaian opposition MP for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga has refused to honour a court invitation from the special prosecutor, Martin Amidu, over a corruption case.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker said the special prosecutor is breaching parliamentary rules for asking him to appear in court when the lawmaking Chamber is sitting on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.
Mr. Amidu has written to the Speaker Prof. Mike Oquaye to release the legislator, but the latter says “is not vested with the power to ‘release’ a sitting Member of Parliament to you so you can arraign that Member before court during a period when Parliament is in session and sitting”.
The former sports minister stressed he is “not enthused about abandoning my parliamentary duties” just because of an “inappropriately timed invitation”.
“Absenting myself from sittings of Parliament for a certain number of days, without the Speaker’s permission, could be grounds for my removal from Parliament. This is trite constitutional law,” he stated.
The Special Prosecutor has sued the Member of Parliament for abusing his office among other offences.
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.
According to the writ sighted “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.”
Source: Daily Mail GH