Ayariga in Court over Tractors

The Progressive Nationalist Forum has petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, (CHRAJ) over the alleged illegal acquisition of tractors by Mahama Ayariga, government spokesperson, from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The Forum believes that the �Kubota� Tractors that were acquired by Mahama Ayariga formed part of some 2000 tractors and their accessories procured by the government of Ghana for underprivileged farmers across the country to boost food production and security in the country. Solicitors for the petitioner, Ansah Obiri legal Consult, claimed in its four page document to CHRAJ that Mahama Ayariga, a lawyer by profession, who bought five out the 2000 tractors was not an underprivileged farmer and that it was against the laws of the state for him to benefit from the deal. According to the lawyers of the petitioner, the minister of food and Agriculture, Kwesi Ahwoi erred and breached an oath of allegiance when he ordered the release of the five of the tractors to Mahama Ayariga alone when he knew that the latter was not a farmer. According to the petitioners, Mahama Ayariga bought each branch new tractor with matching implements at GH�18,000 and agreed to pay an amount of GH�10,000 as minimum deposit for each of the tractors as required by the ministry while spreading the outstanding balance over a two year period. However, since the acquisition of the tractors, he is believed to have paid only GH�1,000 for all the five. This comes at a time that the under privileged farmers who could not raise the requisite GH�10,000 deposits had their tractors re-allocated to pro-government functionaries and businessmen. �We impress upon this honourable commission that the respondents used their various offices as Minister of Food and Agriculture and his association with the president as spokesperson to procure the tractors at the expense of he many underprivileged farmers in the country. The petitioner also declared that Mahama Ayariga who is not an underprivileged farmer in Ghana should not be allowed to purchase any of the said tractors. Furthermore, the two government officials abused their various offices when they engaged in acts of conflicts of interest. The petitioner therefore called on CHRAJ to investigate the issue and recommend government to compel Kwesi Ahwoi to terminate the sale and purchase agreement between the ministry and Mahama Ayariga.