Mahama Ayariga Trial Takes Off

MThe Special Prosecutor, Martin ABK Amidu, has filed a case against National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, for allegedly importing vehicles into the country illegally.

The case was filed at the registry of
the Accra High Court.

The NDC MP, who has been a subject of
investigations by the Office of the Special Prosecutor since last year, is
facing a total of five charges.

Mr. Ayariga is alleged to have
fraudulently evaded customs duties and taxes in the importation of the vehicles
into the country.

The MP has also been accused of
abusing his office by selling three Toyota V8 Land Cruisers meant to be used
for his official duties to Kenderick Akwasi Marfo of Atlas-Rent-A-car at the price
of $40,000.00 each.

The Special Prosecutor also accused the
MP of dealing in foreign exchange with the agent of a supplier in Dubai for the
supply of three vehicles without having the required licence.

Mr. Ayariga also faces a charge of
transfer of funds from Ghana to Dubai through an unauthorized dealer.

Per the facts of the case as filed in
court, Parliament, at its fifth sitting on April 7, 2017, approved agreement
with Societe Generale for the purchase of vehicles for official use by the MPs
by a resolution.

It said each MP was entitled to
$80,000 payable within a period of four years.

It said the MPs could, however, only
access the loan through a supplier, as none of them was entitled to personally
collect the loan due them.

Mr. Ayariga connived with one Ahmed
Tijani Abdulai, who registered a company called ASH Plantpool Limited with the
sole purpose of representing the Bawku Central MP as his supplier.

Per the fact sheet, Mr.
Ayariga then requested his share of the loan, which was transferred into the
bank account of ASH Plantpool.

ASH Plantpool transferred $78,000 out
of the amount into the personal bank account of Mr. Ayariga and kept $2,000 as
commission contrary to the loan agreement.

The MP then used the money to import
three Toyota Land Cruisers from Dubai.

The facts said when the vehicles
arrived, Mr. Ayariga applied for a tax exemption to clear the vehicles from the
port, which was granted to him on the condition that he pays an amount of GH¢36,591.15 upfront since the duties
and the taxes on the vehicles exceeded his allowable tax exemption.

It said Mr. Ayariga rather paid an
amount of GH¢6, 06.86 and cleared the vehicles
from the Tema Port.

It added that when the vehicles were cleared from the port, the NDC MP sold them to Kenderick Kwasi Marfo at a cost of $40,000 each instead of using the vehicles for his official duties.

By Gibril Abdul Razak

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