The MPs for South Dayi and Builsa South, Rockson Dafeamakpor and Clement Apaak respectively, have filed a suit at the Supreme Court to challenge the payment of emoluments to the spouses of the President and Vice President.
In the writ dated July 7, the two NDC legislators and Fredrick Nii Commey, are praying the Apex Court to rule that the Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee mandated to recommend the salaries, allowances payable to Article 71 officeholders, acted unconstitutionally by recommending that Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Mrs Samira Bawumia receive pay just as Cabinet Ministers.
The three plaintiffs argued that according to “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.”
Thus, they want such a recommendation by the Committee to be null and void.
Article 71 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution states that salaries and allowances of the Executive, the Legislature 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.
Article 71 named public office holders who qualify as; the President, the Vice-President, the chairman, and the other members of the Council of State; Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers.
Parliament in January this year, approved the Prof. Baidu Ntiamoah Committee’s report recommending emoluments for the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature. The committee’s report also made provisions for the spouses of the President and Vice President.
The move to formalise the payment of salaries to the First lady and the wife of the Vice President has gained massive attention on social media with many condemning the decision.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has however 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, that was only being formalised by the incumbent government.
Another group concerned about this decision is the Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress who has disclosed its intention to file a suit at the Supreme Court if the decision for the First Lady and Mrs. Bawumia to receive emoluments is not rescinded.
The reliefs sought from the Supreme Court by Rockson Dafeamakpor, Clement Apaak and Fredrick Nii Commey are as follows:
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 to make.
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