An Accra High Court has on Monday, June 17, struck out charges of fraudulent evasion of tax, fraudulent evasion of customs duties and dealing in foreign currency without license filed by a special prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu against the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga.
According to the Presiding Judge, Justice Afia Serwa Asare-Botwe those offences are not within the mandate or remit of the Special Prosecutor since tax evasion is not in any way make reference to corruption-related issues.
Mahama Ayariga has been dragged to the High Court on allegation of tax evasion and fraudulent deals of foreign currency contrary to the laws of the country.
But he challenged the Special Prosecutor charges, arguing that those charges were frivolous and vexatious as the SP is not seized with locus to try him on those charges.
He also wants the court to stop Amidu from pursuing him because he is not qualified by age to hold himself as public prosecutor haven grown beyond the compulsory retirement age of 60years.
Mr Ayariga filed an application at the Court seeking powers of the court to strike out the charge sheets on two principal grounds in respect of the car loan issue.
The Bawku lawmaker grounded his case on the fact that Martin Amidu haven optioned the retirement age, he was not qualified as the Special Prosecutor (SP).
He further asked the court to strike the charges of involving tax evasion and dealing foreign currency without authorisation.
In her ruling, the Judge held that any pronouncement on Amidu qualification to hold office as Special Prosecutor would amount to injunction a public officer and that he is the de facto Special Prosecutor until the Supreme Court pronounced otherwise.
The Judge is of the view that, since there is a matter already in the Supreme Court, she would decline the invitation, stressing that for the meantime Amidu is competent to sign the charge sheet against Ayariga.
TheCourt, however, struck out the charges of fraudulent evasion of tax, fraudulent evasion of customs duties and dealing in foreign currency without license filed, but upheld the charge of use of public office for private gains.
The court further declined jurisdiction to make a pronouncement on the charges involving the procurement of ambulance for the Bawku Municipal Assembly, citing the pending case at the Supreme Court