Ayariga trial: Court dismisses Speaker’s certificate

An Accra High Court has ruled that Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, must show up for trial whenever he is required to do so.

Justice Afia Botwe on Tuesday, rejected a certificate issued by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, informing the court that the MP had work to do in Parliament.

There are two cases against the MP filed at the court relating to the procurement of ambulances for his constituents and tax evasion.

Mr Ayariga had earlier written to the Special Prosecutor saying he will be unable to show up in court due to parliamentary proceedings.

His lawyer, Godwin Tamakloe on Tuesday, told the court that Mr Ayariga is unavailable.

The MP showed up in court 10mins to the 1 pm deadline with his lawyers presenting a certificate issued by the speaker of parliament informing the court that, the MP has parliamentary work.

But Justice Botwe said this was not tenable because Mr.Ayariga was not a witness of the court neither were state prosecutors attempting to serve him with a court process.

She held that he had been duly charged and served and will, therefore, have no excuse not to show up in court whenever he is needed.

The Judge adjourned the case to June 10, to hear arguments filed by Mr Ayariga’s lawyers challenging the charges filed against him.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who was reacting to the decision said it will affect the work of Parliament. He also indicated plans to challenge the decision at the Supreme Court.

Justice Botwe said the case could not progress without the MP handing the lawyers up until 1 pm to ensure he is present.

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