“This is a lame attempt at damage control because reading the statement which they issued, the statement, let me say was not issued by their lawyers but was issued by the Company with the intention of asking their lawyers to take the matter up,” he said.
This comes after Labianca in a statement threatened to take legal action against the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for issuing an influence-peddling report against it.
The Company said it has not been involved in any corruption-related activities.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, August 24, it said it has always acted in accordance with due process when applying for customs advance rulings.
As a result, it has ordered its lawyers to proceed to court on the matter.
“We take the findings of the Office of the Special Prosecutor seriously and have consequently instructed our lawyers to take the necessary action on this matter.”
Mr Kudze, in reaction, questioned the basis for which Labianca Group Limited paid the ¢1.074 million after the report emerged.
He argued that the reason for payment is that “they had agreed that there was some wrongdoing that is why they had to pay the money.”
“They themselves alluded to the fact that they appeared before the Special Prosecutor during the investigation and during the investigations of course if you had evidence in support of your case you would have made it available before the Special prosecutor,” he added.
According to him, in Labianca’s statement, the only legitimate claim is the “fact that they were not furnished with the Special Prosecutors report at a point in time.”
On August 8, 2022, the OSP published an investigative report which revealed that Labianca Group of Companies, a frozen foods company owned by a member of the Council of State, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, evaded import duties.
He recovered an amount of ¢1.074 million representing a shortfall in import duties paid to the state.
The report signed by the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, alleged that the influence-peddling by Ms Asomah-Hinneh led to a reduction in the tax liabilities for her frozen foods company, Labianca Company Limited.
The OSP contended that Ms Asomah-Hinneh used her position as a member of the Council of State and member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to get a favourable decision from the Customs Division.