Private Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has lauded the decision by the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, to reject and refund emoluments paid to her.

Her decision was borne out of public outcry after some citizens registered dissatisfaction over the implementation. In addition, many questioned the capacity in which such an allocation would be made to the Presidential spouses.

Speaking on Newsfile Saturday, the legal practitioner stated that the First Lady exhibited good leadership in saving the public purse amidst economic hardship faced post-Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Mrs Akufo-Addo refunded an amount of ¢899,097.84 paid to her as an allowance from 2017 to date.

“She’s done marvellously by returning the money; that is the mark of very high emotional intelligence because the facts on the ground show that millions of Ghanaians are suffering…So I mean it is very easy to understand why they will be mad at the First Lady being paid such a huge sum of money when in the first place everything that they enjoy at home is paid for by the taxpayer.”     

Per the recommended emoluments by the Prof Ntiamoa-Baidu-led committee, the spouse of the President is to be entitled to the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister-MP while in office.

After leaving office, they will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 per cent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served one full term as President and 100 per cent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.

For the vice president’s spouse, she will be entitled to payment of salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is not an MP.

After leaving office, the spouse of the Vice President will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 per cent of the salary of a Minister of State who is not an MP if the spouse served one full term as the Vice President or 100 per cent of the salary of a Minister of State who is not an MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.

Martin Kpebu reacting to the recommendation, stated that the presidential emolument was a poor judgement.

Explaining this, he noted that despite their duties in assisting with various public roles, they are not obliged by law to do so; therefore, they should not be entitled to earn salaries.