The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga is expected to make his second court appearance later today.
This follows last week Tuesday’s adjournment of the Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the Accra High Court, Court 2 , presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, in a case brought against him by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
Last Friday, the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye rose to the defence of the Bawku Central Member of parliament, Mahama Ayariga asking the Accra High court to respect the lawmaker’s Parliamentary privilege and Immunity, entrenched in the 1992 Constitution.
He said the Bawku Central MP ought to be tried on days when Parliament is not sitting or during recess.
Earlier the Presiding Judge held that Mahama Ayariga must appear in court, whenever he’s needed, in accordance with the court schedules.
But in a letter addressed to the Registrar of the High Court, Financial Court 2, and a copy sighted by Kasapafmonline.com brought to the the court’s attention referencing various articles under the 1992 constitution, the unfair treatment which the MP was being subjected to by the court, asking that Mahama Ayariga be treated in accordance with the law.
“Kindly bring to the court’s attention, the above constitutional provisions, my Ruling on parliamentary privileges and Immunities, and the hope that while recognizing that no one is above the law, yet privileges provided under the constitution are also applied” the Speaker wrote in his letter addressed to the High Court.
The case in which Mahama Ayariga is facing five counts of among other things, evasion of duties and taxes, 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, “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.”