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Special Prosecutor files first suit, against Mahama Ayariga

Bawku Central MP is accused of clearing three Toyota V8 Land Cruisers in 2017

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has filed his first known suit at an Accra high court.

In the writ dated March 22, 2019, the Special Prosecutor is suing Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Constituency Mahama Ayariga for abuse of office.

The former minister of state is accused of tax evasion in the clearance of three Toyota V8 vehicles.

He is also sued for illegal transfer of foreign exchange from Ghana to Dubai without having the required license to undertake such transaction.

Joined to the suit is one Kendrick Marfo, a car rental dealer, for purchasing the “fraudulent” vehicles from Mr Ayariga.

Mr Marfo, 50, is also accused of deliberately evading tax in the purchase of the vehicles from the lawmaker.

Background

After Parliament passed a resolution at its fifth sitting on April 7, 2017, approving a loan agreement for the purchase of official vehicles for members, Mr Ayariga is said to have connived with one Sheriff Ahmed Tijani Adbulai to be his supplier.

Parliament had decreed that the $80,000 loan – payable within four years – for each member was not to be personally collected as it is meant for the stated purpose for which it was secured.

But Mr Ayariga is accused of selecting Sheriff Ahmed Tijani Adbulai, who had registered a company called ASH Plantpool Limited, as his supplier.

Mr Ayariga then requested his share of the loan to be released to ASH Plantpool Limited and the same was released to the company by Societe Generale-Ghana based on approval of the Deputy Clerk of Parliament.

When the money was transferred into the company’s account, $78,000 was transferred to Mr Ayariga’s personal account with Standard Chartered’s Opeibea Branch while ASH Plantpool’s owner kept the remainder as his commission.

The MP then used the money to import three second-hand Toyota V8 Land Cruisers from Dubai.

He then applied for tax exemption to clear the three vehicles from the port and he was granted same on condition that he pays duties and taxes of GH¢36,591.15 upfront before the vehicles are cleared from the port since the duties and taxes exceeded his allowable tax exemption.

Instead of paying the amount stated as tax, however, an amount of GH¢6,062.86 was rather paid by the lawmaker to clear the vehicles from the Tema Port.

When the vehicles were cleared from the port, Mr Ayariga instead of using them for his official duties for which reason tax exemption was granted to him sold them out to Kendrick Marfo at the cost of $40,000 each of which the latter made a part payment of $9,000 and promised to pay the outstanding balance in August, 2018.

Investigations revealed that Mr Ayariga transferred $90,000 to Dubai for the purchase of the vehicles through an agent of his supplier, who is said to have no license.

The investigations further revealed that Kendrick Marfo knew that the vehicles were exempted from custom duties and taxes.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

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