A Former Attorney General under the Kufuor adminstration, Ayikoi Otoo has defended President John Dramani Mahama’s decision to file his tax returns from his book – “My First Coup D’etat and a family farming business”, saying, his action is not a breach of the constitution.
Article 68, 1a of the 1992 constitution, states that “the president shall not, while he continues to be in office as president hold any other office of profit or emolument whether private or public and whether directly or indirectly.”
The President on Thursday filed his tax returns and reiterated the need for Ghanaians to pay their taxes regularly to the state, to enable the government to embark on socio-economic development infrastructure.
Some political and social commentators have questioned the President’s decision to pay taxes on a farm saying he is not allowed to engage in such ventures while he is in office.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr Ayikoi Otoo explained that the President would have breached the law if only he paid his taxes while holding a position in a profit making organization.
“What the President is telling us is that he is engaged in some family activities from which he earns income…if we can show that he is the Chairman of GOIL, or the Managing Director of a private bank from which he is paid, it means he is holding another office from which he is gaining his monument.But with this, he claims that there is some business activity in Agric that he is just involved in. He has not been employed there, it is not necessarily an office so I don’t see him as breaching any law,” he clarified.
He maintained that there is nothing wrong since the President “is doing his farming from which he wants to pay taxes,I don’t find anything wrong with his decision to file taxes on his book.”
He further described President’s Mahama’s decision to file taxes on his book as an attempt to set an example for Ghanaians to follow.