Lawyer Sam Okudzeto has defended embattled owner of Labianca Company, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, amid an Office of Special Prosecutor, OSP, report about her complicity in tax evasion transactions.
In his defense, Okudzeto explained that Madam Asomah-Hinneh, was a Ghanaian first and foremost and had the right to engage in business.
He said on Accra-based Asaase Radio’s news programme on August 30 that there is nothing wrong with Labianca’s dealing as long as the transaction was done according to the law.
“People need to understand this about our law. There’s nothing wrong as long as what she has done was done legally according to the law, then I don’t know what the Special Prosecutor is going to gain by going to court.”
He also waded into calls for her sacking from the Council of State, which he is a member of. Okudzeto pointed out that Asomah-Hinneh was elected as a member of the Council unlike those appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and thus could not be sacked as was being demanded.
“She [Asomah-Hinneh] was not appointed by anybody, she stood for the election and won. There’s nothing in the constitution which say that anybody can come and tell her that she should be sacked from her position,” Okudzeto added.
He called for circumspection in the discourse around the matter stressing that she had only taken advantage of legal import concessions in the line of her business.
“We should be very careful and cautious because there’s one rule that governs everybody. The same people who are making the argument that she’s a member of the council of state are also forgetting that she’s also a Ghanaian.
“That if there are provisions, which are being given as concession by the customs to other people and that concession is given to her also, then whether she’s a member of the council of state or not it is completely irrelevant to the issue. This is what I want people to understand,” Okudzeto said.
The Labianca saga
The Labianca case was brought to the limelight by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, after its investigations uncovered a case of tax evasion with alleged collusion between the company and Customs officials.
The state is said to have retrieved over one million cedis whiles a broader probe into the circumstances that led to the infraction has also been opened.