“I haven’t been served yet” – Ayariga

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm June 4, 2019 14:31

“I haven’t been served yet” – Ayariga

Bawku Central Member of Parliament, Mahama Ayariga has said he has not been served with any suit by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for which he should be in court for charges to be read to him and his plea taken.

He said on the floor of parliament on Tuesday, 4 June 2019 that there was an attempt to serve him the suit through parliament during his absence.

On Tuesday, 4 June 2019 a justice of the Financial and Tax Court, Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, asked the lawyers of Mr Ayariga to produce him in court to answer questions in a corruption-related case brought against him by the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu.

Mr Ayariga had earlier told Mr Amidu that he would be unable to accept his invitation to appear in court on Tuesday, 4 June 2019 because he [Ayariga] had parliamentary duties.

“My inability to honour your invitation is because parliament is in session and will be sitting on that day – Tuesday, 4 June 2019. The parliament of Ghana, when in session sits on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and any other day appointed by the Speaker that is not a public holiday,” Mr Ayariga said in a letter, adding: “I can come to court on any other day when parliament is not sitting,” he said in a statement.

Mr Amidu is prosecuting Mr Ayariga for tax and duty evasion.

Mr Amidu’s suit against Mr Ayariga was filed some two weeks ago with five charges levelled against the lawmaker.

Mr Amidu alleged that Mr Ayariga abused the privileges he enjoyed as an MP by conniving with a private company to secure a loan, import three cheaper vehicles from Dubai and failed to pay duties on them under the guise that they were for official duty.

Minutes after the court ourder, however, Mr Ayariga said: “Mr Speaker, a few days ago, it came to my notice by a letter written to you and copied me by the Office of the Special Prosecutor that I should appear before court today, Tuesday the 4th of June, to be arraigned so that the charges will be read to me for my plea to be taken.

“I responded by a letter indicating that I am available to stand trial on any day when the Parliament of Ghana is not in session.

“Mr Speaker, inviting me to leave this house to be at the court today on Tuesday when this house will be sitting will obstruct me and prevent me from being able to carry out my duty as a sitting member of parliament and the person who seeks to do that would be acting contemptuously of parliament.

“That is why I raised the issues of breach of my privileges and immunities as a member of parliament. I invite you to rule on the request that I leave parliament and go and answer to a letter written by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, inviting you to release me to attend court today on a day when parliament is sitting.

“I have not yet been served with a court process. There was an attempt to serve me through this house. The processes were brought in my absence. And there was an attempt to serve through an officer of this house.”

Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/91.3FM

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm June 4, 2019 14:31
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