By;brightwebtv/nana asare barimah
The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has served notice it is heading to court to challenge a decision to start paying salaries to the spouses of the president and his vice.
The decision was arrived at by the five-member Prof Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee tasked to make recommendations on the salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available to Article 71 officeholders.
ASEPA, a pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) CSO, has described the development as “illegal.”
Speaking to Kojo Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday (7 July 2021), the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson, said: “We are going to court to challenge this. We are going to file an action at the Supreme Court tomorrow, for the court to make a pronouncement.”
“That the Prof Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee’s recommendation to pay salaries to the president and vice-president’s wife is illegal because they do not have the capacity under the law to do what they did and so that action should be rendered moot.”
Thompson added: “If the president’s wife and the vice-president’s wife cannot be found in the list of Article 71 officeholders, how did the recommendations appear in a committee that was supposed to review emolument. So, they do not have the capacity to make those recommendations and that makes it an illegality.”
He said there is no justification for the approval, especially when the economy is still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The president ignoring all the economic difficulties that he has spoken about, why he has promised that this year public servants will not receive any increment in salary because the pandemic has hit us hard, still read this report that made recommendations that puts his wife and the second lady and did not reject and still assented to it clearly tells you how thoughtful the president is about the country.”
The five-member committee led by Prof Ntiamoa-Baidu was set up in June 2019 by President Akufo-Addo to make recommendations to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available to Article 71 office holders.
They were charged to make recommendations in respect of emoluments and other privileges for Article 71 office holders, as specified under the Constitution; and also to examine any other relevant matter which the committee deemed appropriate to its work.