Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, wants government to take a second look at the relevance of the Council of State.

The lawyer believes the counsel given by members of the Council may not differ from what other seasoned experts in the country are willing to offer.

For him, “people are willing to give free advice yet they won’t get near because they are not part of the ruling government.”

This comes on the back of revelations that the former Council of State member, Togbe Afede XIV, returned over ¢365,000 ex-gratia paid to him for serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020.

According to him, it is not appropriate to receive the said amount when he already took monthly salaries for serving on the Council.

People are willing to advise President for free, scrap ex-gratia for Council of State - Martin Kpebu

This has brought to the fore conversations surrounding the need to reassess the remuneration of these public officials.

Speaking to Samson Lardy Anyenini on Newsfile, Martin Kpebu said the fact that the President is not even bound by their advice makes it questionable that the structure is still in place.

For him, there are numerous specialists in various fields in the country with adequate resources to provide needed direction to the leadership without a fee.

He sees it as unfortunate that these experts are not given the chance because they may not be willing to do a ruling government’s hatchet job.

“We have so many experts but because they are not willing to say things against opposition, usually the ruling government will not take them. Because to get a seat at the table, you have to throw dirt at the opposition. You have to be very partisan,” he said on Saturday.

The Constitution Review Commission set up in January 2010, among other things, recommended the removal of the Council of State.

This, according to Mr Kpebu, reflected the sentiment of the people and to leave such a document to gather dust makes nonsense of the citizens’ aspirations.