The Supreme Court has received another suit challenging payment of salaries and allowances to the First Lady and wife of the Vice President.
Ghanaian citizen, Kwame Baffoe, on Thursday, filed a suit praying the Supreme Court to rule that the recommendation by the Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee, that spouses of the President and his Vice, be paid salaries just as Cabinet Ministers, is null and void as well as unenforceable.
The petitioner contended that per Article 7 (1) and (2); the positions of Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Mrs Samira Bawumia, “do not fall under the category of Public Office holders”, hence they cannot receive such emoluments.
Article 71 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution, states that, “salaries and allowances of the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary paid from the Consolidated Fund, would be determined by the President, on the recommendations of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by him and acting upon the advice of the Council of State.”
The President, the Vice-President, the chairman, and the other members of the Council of State; Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers are public office holders qualified under Article 71.
Earlier today, The MPs for South Dayi and Builsa South, Rockson Dafeamakpor and Clement Apaak respectively, joined by one Fredrick Nii Commey, filed a suit challenging the same initiative.
They held the same position as Kwame Baffoe, stating that the Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee acted unconstitutionally.
Although Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has explained that the payment of allowances to spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents is not a new initiative but one instituted under the Kufuor administration, the Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has threatened to also challenge the decision.
The reliefs sought by Kwame Baffoe are as follows:
a. Declaration that, the approval by Parliament to pay salaries to the First and Second ladies is inconsistent with Article 71 clauses 1 and 2 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and consequently be declared null, void and unenforceable.
b. Declaration that, per Article 7 (1) and (2); the position of the First and Second ladies of Ghana do not fall under the category of Public Office holders.
c. Declaration that, per Article 71 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; the Emolument Committee is limited to recommending the salaries and other benefits and privileges of only public office holders.
d. 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 necessarily be paid from public funds; without a bill to that effect emanating from and introduced by the Government and dully passed into law.
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