Ayariga vows to contest Amidu over his call records

The Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga says he will challenge a court order directing MTN to provide his call records to the Special Prosecutor (SP), Martin Amidu.

The SP on January 22 secured a court order from an Accra Circuit Court for Mr Ayariga’s call records of a conversation with an officer of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

However, the MP in a statement says he has instructed his lawyers to challenge the said order.

According to Mr Ayariga, he will have handed his MTN call records to the SP if the request was made directly and not through an “over-broad order”.

He said: “I, Mahama, Ayariga would have gladly personally handed my MTN call records to Mr Martin Amidu, if he had just asked me directly, so he will see that I have never placed a call to Mr Kwasi Gyimah-Asante’s phone. I still do not know who Kwasi Asante-Gyimah is.

“I, however, think that in the interest of developing clarity on the law protecting the privacy of the communication of Ghanaian citizens on mobile telecommunications platforms, and setting proper precedents, the breath of the court order should be subjected to legal scrutiny. I have therefore instructed my lawyers accordingly”.

He also advised MTN to explore all legal avenues before releasing the phone records of their customer.

SP accuses Ayariga of frustrating probe

In August 2018, Mr Amidu stated that there have been attempts by Mr Ayariga to stop an investigation into the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences.

Mr Amidu in a statement accused Mr Ayariga of sending some personal friends, former colleagues, chiefs, pastors among others, to beg him [Amidu] to stop the investigations against him [Ayariga].

The SP also stated that as a result of these attempts, he has reported the Bawku Central MP to the Economic and Organized Crime Organization (EOCO) for attempting to block a probe into the acquisition of three used white Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles after refusing to honour an invitation by EOCO over the matter.

“After undertaking preliminary investigations into the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences including the abuse of public office for private gain by the Honourable Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for the Bawku Central Constituency, my office decided that there were sufficient grounds to invite the suspect for the conduct of full investigations into the allegations,” the statement said.

“The preliminary investigations pertained to the importation into Ghana through corrupt means and corruption-related activities of three used white Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles by using a Parliamentary Resolution dated 7th April 2017 contracting a facility of US$22, 500, 000.00 between the Parliamentary Service and the Societe Generale Bank (Ghana) which was for the purchase of one brand new official vehicle for each of the 275 Members of Parliament.

Due to the fact that the investigations division of my office was in the process of being set up, I invited the Economic and Organised Crime Office to undertake a joint investigation of the suspected offences with my office, as permitted under our establishment enactments.

“The suspect refused to report to the offices of EOCO in Accra as demanded by a publication at page 26 of the Daily Graphic of 20th June 2018 with vehicle numbers GR 2220-18, GR 2221-18, GR 2222-18, GT 2243(sic)-17 and GT 4054-13. Consequently, it fell on me to write to the Speaker of Parliament with a copy to Honourable Mahama Ayariga (the suspect) in my letter dated 26th June 2018 to release the suspect to report to EOCO on 3rd July 2018.

“When the Suspect, Honourable Mahama Ayariga, received his copy of my letter to the Speaker he immediately started to get people he perceived could put pressure on me (such as personal friends, former colleagues, chiefs, men of God, etc.), to abate the investigations being conducted in the performance of my functions under Acts 959 and Act 804. I asked EOCO on a number of occasions to warn the suspect to desist from his conduct of obstructing the investigations by soliciting others to put pressure on me to abate same to no avail”.

Mr Amidu stressed that the country cannot fight the canker of corruption and corruption-related offences by expecting the Special Prosecutor to have regard to the personalities involved in the commission of corruption offences instead of treating every crime as crime without fear or favour, affection or ill will.

Below is Ayariga’s full statement:

I will contest Martin Amidu court order for my MTN call records – Mahama Ayariga

I, Mahama, Ayariga would have gladly personally handed my MTN call records to Mr Martin Amidu, if he had just asked me directly, so he will see that I have never placed a call to Mr Kwasi Gyimah-Asante’s phone. I still do not know who Kwasi Asante-Gyimah is.

I, however, think that in the interest of developing clarity on the law protecting the privacy of the communication of Ghanaian citizens on mobile telecommunications platforms, and setting proper precedents, the breath of the court order should be subjected to legal scrutiny. I have therefore instructed my lawyers accordingly.

I believe that MTN is properly advised not to hastily yield to this clearly over-broad order in the interest of their customers. MTN must be seen to exhaust all legal challenges.

Hon. Mahama Ayariga

MP, Bawku Central

Source: Graphic

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