The Chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Bono Region, Kwame Baffoe Abronye sought from the Supreme Court to declare the approval by Parliament to pay salaries to the First and Second Ladies as inconsistent with ARTICLE 71 CLAUSES I AND 2 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and consequently be declared null, void and unenforceable
Mr Kwame Baffoe Abronye further wants the Court to declare that per Article 71 (1) and (21: the positions of the First and second ladles of Ghana do not fall under the category of Public Officeholders
The Court should again declare that per Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana: The Emolument Committee is limited to recommending the salaries and other benefits and privileges of only public officeholders.
The Bono NPP Chairman prayed the Supreme Court to declare 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 necessarily be paid from public funds; without a bill to that effect emanating from and introduced by the Government and duly passed into law
In a related development, the Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) issued a press statement indicated that the outfit has become aware of a news item attributed to Information Minister, Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, that Parliament has approved recommendations of the Prof Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee on emoluments for article 71 officeholders for which spouses of President Akufo Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will receive same monthly salaries as Cabinet Ministers.
According to the Youth Organizer, George Opare Addo who signed the statement, “it is surprising that at a time President Akufo Addo has admonished all Ghanaians to make sacrifices and has imposed nuisance taxes coupled with draconian economic policies under the guise of economic recovery due to Covid l9, he gave clean bill of health for Parliament to approve a report of a committee he constituted to impose a further financial burden on the consolidated fund”
He said the terms of reference of the Prof Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee gave out the President as the chief architect of the decision to pay his wife, Mrs Rebecca Akufo Addo, and wife of Vice President, Mrs Samira Bawumia.
“For want of better expression, the decision to further drain the consolidated fund with needless expenditure is a pet project of President Akufo Addo,” he said.
The NDC Youth Organizer said it was instructive to point out that they found the attempt to institutionalize 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. Indeed, the Constitution never clothed the Emolument Committee any power to introduce any category of persons to benefit from the Consolidated fund without due regard to article 108”, he said.
He opined that the Committee erred in making such recommendation; the bully approval process by the NPP majority in the last Parliament and subsequent acquiescence of President Akufo Addo of the recommendation is an unjustifiable assault on the Constitution which must not go unchallenged.
He hinted that in line with this, the Youth Wing will in the coming days invoke the authority of the Supreme Court to declare what he claimed as cancerous and insensitive act unconstitutional.