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Abronye goes to Supreme Court to stop salaries for presidential spouses

 

By;brightwebtv/nana asare barimah

The Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye, has filed a writ at the Supreme Court seeking to stop the payment of cabinet-level salaries to presidential spouses because, in his view, it is inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

In the writ, he is praying the court to declare the approval of the recommendation by parliament as “null, void and unenforceable”.

Mr Baffoe argued that “per Article 71 (1) and (2), the positions of the first and second ladies of Ghana do not fall under the category of public officeholders”, adding: “Per Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Emolument Committee is limited to recommending the salaries and other benefits and privileges of only public office holders”.

The writ further sought a declaration “that per Articles 108 and 178 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; parliament cannot, on its own accord, initiate or approve payment of any such emoluments; which would be necessarily be paid from public funds; without a bill to that effect emanating from and introduced by the Government and passed into law”.

Also, two members of parliament from the Minority Caucus have filed a similar suit.

South Dayi and Builsa South MPs Rockson-Nelson Dafeamakpor and Clement Apaak, respectively, filed the joint.

In their view, the five-member Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee which President Nana Akufo-Addo set up in June 2019 to review emoluments payable to Article 71 officeholders, exceeded its mandate by proposing that presidential spouses be paid cabinet-level salaries.

The reliefs sought by the two legislators are:

1. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Prof. Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee appointed by the President of the Republic of Ghana under Article 71(1), only had jurisdiction to make recommendations in respect of salaries, allowances payable, facilities and privileges of Article 71 office holders under the 1992 Constitution.

2. A further declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Prof. Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee had no jurisdiction, mandate or authority to make any recommendations in respect of salaries, allowances payable, facilities and privileges of persons other than persons specified under Article 71 of 1992 Constitution.

3. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the 1992 Constitution, the Prof. Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee exceeded its jurisdiction, mandate and authority when it purported to make recommendations in respect of privileges, facilities, salaries and allowances payable to the 1st and 2nd Ladies of the Republic of Ghana.

4. A further declaration that the recommendations of the Committee, to the extent that it pertains to the 1st and 2nd Ladies of the Republic of Ghana, are null, void and of no effect.

5. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, 1992, spouses of the President and the Vice President are not Article 71 office holders for the purposes of receipt of wages and emoluments.

6. An order declaring the recommendations in respect of privileges, facilities, salaries and allowances payable to the 1st and 2nd Ladies of the Republic of Ghana as unconstitutional and void.

7. An order restraining the President of the Republic of Ghana or any other arm, ministry, department or agency of the executive, from implementing any recommendations of the Prof. Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee which pertains to the 1st and 2nd Ladies of the Republic of Ghana.

8. Any further Order (s) or direction(s) as this Honourable Court may deem necessary.

Apart from the two legislators, the youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in a press statement signed by National Youth Organiser George Opare Addo, said: “It is instructive to point out that we find the attempt to institutionalise the payment of salaries to the spouses of the President and the Vice-President as an attack on the Constitution of the country.”

“The provisions of article 71 of the 1992 Constitution is elaborate and unambiguous by listing the public officials bound to draw their salaries from the Consolidated Fund.”

Source: Ghana/otecfmghana.com

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