23 January 2019

Ghana: Court Orders MTN to Produce Audio Chat of Mahama Ayariga

An Accra Circuit Court yesterday, ordered the Managing Director of Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) to produce audio conversation of Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central and an officer of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The court gave the order at the request of Special Prosecutor (SP) Mr Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu.

Mr Amidu told the Accra Circuit Court "2" presided over by Mrs Ruby Naa Adjeley-Quayson that the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) had already obtained an order to conduct forensic examination on three mobile phone numbers from the Director General of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.

He urged the court to exercise its powers under the Electronic Transaction Act, Act 2008(Act 772) of Section 100, 101 and 103.

Mr Amidu who is known for his tough stance against corruption recently hinted that he would soon start prosecuting corruption-related cases.

In moving the motion for an order directed at the telecom giant to produce the conversation between the lawmaker and the officer at GRA, the SP said the information he wanted was between December 2018 and January 2019.

Consequently, the Presiding Judge, Mrs Ruby Naa Adjeley granted the order and asked MTN to produce the said audio conversation dated December 1, 2018 to January 6, 2019.

It is not clear what Mr Amidu is seeking to do with the information, however, deep throat sources told the Ghanaian Times that the SP may press charges against the duo if he gathered enough evidence.

At the time of filing this story, a staff of the OSP was in court to take the order and serve on MTN.

In August 2018, Mr Amidu reported the legislator to the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO) for allegedly attempting to block his investigation on him.

Mr Amidu alleged that the Bawku Central MP had sent chiefs, pastors and opinion leaders to intercede on his behalf.

The OSP was created by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in fulfillment of a key campaign promise to instill discipline in public office and protect the national purse.

On the eve of the nomination of the SP, President Akufo-Addo declared that the mere mention of the name Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu would put fear in the heart of public office holders.

The establishment of the OSP generated controversy and heated debate about the necessity of the office as some have held that the office was created to witch-hunt political opponents.

In the 2019 Budget Statement, the government allocated GH¢180 million to the OSP to be used to resource it and strengthen it to fight against the canker of corruption.

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