Ayariga defends decision to counter sue Amidu

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has defended his decision to counter sue the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, who is pursuing him in court over alleged tax evasion and fraud.

According to him, his action was not borne out of fear but he only wanted the Special Prosecutor to go through the right procedure.

Mr Amidu in May sued Mr Ayariga and subsequently wrote to the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye to “release” him to appear in court so as to answer criminal charges.

But Mr Ayariga, who just returned from Abuja on Parliamentary duties, wrote to Mr Amidu describing the invitation as “inappropriate”, hence would not honour it making some persons accuse him of acting out of fear of prosecution.

However, Mr Ayariga indicated that he was ready to appear before court, but only on Mondays. Since the constitution frowned upon obstructing MPs from discharging their duties and parliamentary sittings were held from Tuesday, he could not be made to appear before the court except on Mondays.

“Parliament sits from Tuesdays to Fridays, I will not be available to attend court on any other day except Monday when there is no official parliamentary work. I have no objection going to court. I am not afraid to go to court. I am a trained lawyer. Going to court is not something I am afraid of, because the country is governed by laws, constitution and everyone is guided by it.

“I am simply showing him there is a way of dealing with MPs when it comes to trials. To just write and say the Speaker should release me to arraign before court on a day when Parliament is sitting, is not allowed by constitution since you cannot obstruct MPs in discharge of their duties,” Mr Ayariga insisted.

Mr Amidu in his suit against Mr Ayariga, alleged that the legislator abused privileges enjoyed as MP by securing loan for a car, connived with a private company to secure the funds, imported three cheaper vehicles from Dubai and failing to pay appropriate duty for them under the guise they were for official duties.

Subsequently, Mr Ayariga filed a motion, praying the charges against him by the Special Prosecutor be dismissed because Mr Amidu’s age, 65, disqualified him from holding office, and technically the Special Prosecutor cannot act in that capacity to charge him, saying, “I felt there is nothing wrong with my action since it is prudent use of  loan given.” -citinewsroom.com

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