Former Council of State member, Togbe Afede XIV has asserted that he could never have been able to expend the over GH¢365,000 ex-gratia paid to him for serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020.

The Paramount Chief and Agbogbomefia of Asogli in an exclusive interview with JoyNews on Thursday, emphasised that he was surprised by the huge amount paid into his account as ex-gratia.

Defending his decision to return the ex-gratia paid him, Togbe Afede XIV reiterated that his four-year part-time job as a Member of the Council of State does not merit such quantum of money as an extra reward.

“My joy turned sadness because I knew there was no way I would spend that kind of money. I was very surprised about the sheer quantum of money that I was going to be paid and I thought that for four years work, that in all honesty, it was part-time work, I did not think that it merited such amount of extra reward, after I have enjoyed monthly salaries. Of course there are other privileges whether I enjoyed them or not is neither here nor there…but I thought the salaries were more than enough,” he told Maxwell Agbagba.

He said despite the good reason to pay ex-gratia award to Article 71 office holder, the amount to be disbursed should be subjected to analysis with consideration to the current economic hardships in the country.

The Agbogbomefia of Asogli believes that the nature of a job of a Council of State Member is unmeritorious of compensation after leaving office.

“I thought the salaries were more than enough, so I decided there and then that there is no way I could spend that money and that money must go back to government…there may be a need to give some end of service benefit, how much to be given is subject to a bit of analysis, that would respect also the situation in our country and the plight of the average Ghanaian. Some people must not be made to look like a different class of people.

“Council of state work should not take you away from what you have already been doing and therefore is not a case that you need to be compensated at the end of service or when you are being thrown out of job,” he explained.

Background

It will be recalled that on Monday, the Paramount Chief and Agbogbomefia of Asogli, Togbe Afede XIV, indicated that he had rejected over ¢365,000 ex-gratia paid to him for serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020.

In a statement explaining why he refunded the “outrageous” amount, Togbe Afede XIV said it is not appropriate to receive the said amount when he already took monthly salaries for serving on the Council.

He provided these clarifications after members of the public reacted to news of whether or not he indeed followed through with his supposed refund and the rationale behind it.

“I did not think the payment was made to trap me, as is being speculated. I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it”, he added.

Subsequently, social media users showered accolades on the Paramount Chief for rejecting the said amount paid him as ex-gratia.

The netizens praised him for protecting the public purse and thinking of the growth and development of the country.

Classifying him as a “man of integrity,” the tweethearts urged other public office holders to follow in the steps of the Paramount Chief.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.