Embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Constituency, Mahama Ayariga has filed an application challenging the capacity of the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, to prosecute him for alleged procurement infractions.
According to the lawmaker, the Prosecutor is not a legitimate holder of his office.
Mr Ayariga’s lawyer, Dominic Ayine, has therefore filed a motion at the Financial and Economic Crime High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, challenging the qualification of the Special Prosecutor to prefer charges against his client.
The lawyers for the former Information Minister are arguing that Mr Amidu was above 65 years as of the time he was nominated and approved as Special Prosecutor and, therefore, per Article 199 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, he is not qualified to hold public office.
In view of that, it is the MP’s case that the charge sheet signed by Mr Amidu, which initiated the criminal proceedings against him, is defective and, therefore, the case against him is a nullity.
At Monday’s hearing, the court directed the legal team to file their legal arguments within 72 hours.
The court is expected to make a ruling on the application on Monday, 17 June 2019.
Mahama Ayariga has been charged with the fraudulent evasion of taxes after he paid the duty of ¢6,000 when he imported three Toyota land cruisers instead of approved duty of ¢36,000.
The former Information Minister has also been charged with abuse of his office as a public officer for personal gain.
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, accuses him of selling the three Toyota vehicles which were purchased with a loan from Parliament meant for his use as a public officer to Fredrich Marfo of Atlas Rent A Car.
He also accuses Ayariga of Dealing in foreign exchange without a license and transferring money to an agent in Dubai without a requisite license when he purchased the car.