The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson has dismissed reports indicating that the Finance Ministry paid salaries to the spouses of former President John Mahama and the late Amissah-Arthur.
Taking to Twitter on Monday, Mr Ato Forson stated that “As deputy minister of finance responsible for budget from April 2016 to Jan 2017, I can state categorically that the ministry never paid these purported salaries to both the First and Second ladies.”
As deputy minister of finance responsible for budget from April 2016 to Jan 2017, I can state categorically that the ministry NEVER PAID these purported salaries to both the First and Second ladies. I urge the ministry of finance to issue a statement to clear the air! #FakeNews pic.twitter.com/YPh8Enhv2Y— Cassiel Ato Forson(PhD) (@Cassielforson) July 12, 2021
His comment comes as a response to an image circulating on social media alleging that the Ministry of Finance paid emoluments to now-former First Lady Lordina Mahama and wife of the late Amissah Arthur, Matilda Amissah-Arthur from the year 2012 to 2016 .
But this has been denied by the former Deputy Finance Minister during President Mahama’s first administration.
Mr Ato Forson, to this effect, has admonished the Finance Ministry to issue a press statement to set the records straight.
Some members of the general public have registered their displeasure over Parliament’s approval of 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 to be paid salaries.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, defended the decision stating that the payment of allowances to spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents is not a new phenomenon.
He added that the payment was instituted under the Kufuor administration, but was only being formalised by the current government.
However, many including Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, Builsa South MP, Clement Apaak, have filed a suit at the Supreme Court to challenge the payment of emoluments to Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Mrs Samira Bawumia.
The 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 to warrant payment of emoluments to them.”
Thus, they want the recommendation by the Committee to be declared null and void.
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