Court throws out FWSC in the GHc10m pension suit by former MPs

An Accra High Court has dismissed an application filed by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to join the suit involving some 40 former members of parliament who have sued the Attorney General and the Ministry of Finance over pensions owed them. The MPs who served under the Kufuor’s administration claimed each is entitled to at least 233,495 cedis. The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission applied to join the suit claiming their presence in the matter will enable the court to effectively determine the matters in dispute. Ruling on the matter, presiding judge Gifty Dekyem said the Commission’s act precluded it from dabbling in matters of Article 71 office holders. Later in an interview with journalists, one of the plaintiffs David Apasera said the move by the FWSC was “simply trying to flout the law that establishes them”. Section 3 of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission Act 737 Act, 2007 stipulates under the functions of the Commission that, “To achieve its objects, the Commission shall (a) Implement public service pay policy, except the determination of emoluments under article 71 of the Constitution”. Mr. Apasera therefore remarked that the Commission had “no locus but only succeeded in wasting our time. We are happy the court has thrown them out”. Responding to concern about why they are asking the state to pay them a total 10 million cedis being the accumulated monthly pension allowances, when they know very well that the country’s economy is challenged, the former MP indicated that what they are demanding is even meager as compared to what prevails in other countries. He maintained that asking for 20 percent of what a sitting MP takes is “modest” after an MP has “devoted his life to serve the nation so selflessly” for at least eight years in parliament when in other countries, he claimed, former MPs are  taking 40 and as high as 60 percent. The monthly payment, he noted, has to be sustained for 20 years after leaving parliament.

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