Mahama Ayariga (L) and Martin Amidu

An Accra High Court
hearing the case involving Mr Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku
Central and six others has set July 31, to rule on an application for stay of
proceedings pending an appeal at the Court of Appeal by counsel for Mr Ayariga.

When the case was called on Wednesday
afternoon, the court said it had before it three application, one for the
extract of diary of action, filed on June 8, another directed at respondents to
release ambulance, filed on June 8, and another for stay of proceedings pending
the determination of an appeal at the Court of Appeal, filed on June 21.

Counsel for Ayariga, Mr Edudzi Tamakloe,
moving the application said the application to stay proceedings was that the
substantive appeal was founded on the same ground with the affidavit in support
of the motion paper.

He said the matters raised were matters that
raise fundamental constitutional issues which also relate to the enforcement of
the supreme law, and a determination of this constitutional issue would have
the effect of either terminating the entire process.

He said the courts have held that in an
application to stay proceedings the applicants must demonstrate that there were
exceptional circumstances to warrant the stay.

He said the case relates to whether or not
the charge sheet signed by Mr Martin Amidu should stand on the basis of
capacity raised, saying should the court take the view that he was not
qualified to occupy the office, we contend that the entire case has to come to
an end.

He argued that the application goes to the
very root, and that there were real exceptional circumstances.

Counsel for the second and third accused
persons associated themselves with the arguments of Mr Tamakloe, while counsel
for the first, fourth, fifth and sixth accused persons told the court that they
were indifferent.

The prosecution, led by Michael Baafi from
the Office of the Special Prosecutor said they were opposed to the application.

He argued that technically speaking there
was no appeal pending before the Appeals Court in this matter for which this
court must grant stay of proceedings.

He said in considering whether or not to
grant stay, a look must be done as to whether or not there would be lost should
the appeal succeed.

He said counsel has also failed to disclose
any special circumstances, and has nowhere in the reliefs asked the court to
refer the alleged constitutional matter to the Supreme Court. This application
is just an intent to have the charge sheet struck out.

“To stay this application, will mean you are
hindering the smooth proceeding of the trial which has the tendency of creating
a chaos state. Dismiss the application and allow for the continuation of this
case.”

The court presided over by Justice Afia
Serwaa Asare Botwe then set July 31 for her ruling on the application.

Ayariga, and the six others are facing seven
counts of conspiracy, abetment, contravention of the procedure for request for
quotation, using public office for profit and transfer of foreign exchange from
Ghana through an unauthorized dealer.

The six include Hajia Hawa Ninchema,
Municipal Chief Executive for Bawku, Sumaila Ewuntomah Abudu, Former Municipal
Coordinating Director, Bawku Municipal Assembly (BMA), Alex Vadze, Procurement
Officer, BMA, Alhaji Abdul Mumuni Jesewunde, Municipal Financial Officer BMA,
Mary-Stella Adapesa Municipal Health Director, Bawku and Mumuni Yakubu Nambe,
Assembly Member BMA.

The seven accused persons were alleged to
have acted together to import an ambulance without following due procurement
process, as stipulated by law.

They have all pleaded not guilty to all
seven counts charges.

Ayariga is on a self-recognisance bail in
the sum of GHȼ100,000.00, while the other six have also been admitted to bail
in the sum of GHȼ50,000.00 with two sureties each. One of the sureties the
court said must be a resident of Accra since all six accused persons are base
in the Upper East Region.

The court has also directed all the accused to
deposit their passports at the court and notify the court in writing anytime
they intend to travel.

Meanwhile, in another development a case
against Ayariga, and one other before the same court, relating to charges of
using public office for private benefit, the court granted the request by the
Prosecution to substitute the charge sheet filed earlier on March 27, with a
new one.

Source: GNA