Minority heads to Supreme Court over salaries to presidential spouses

The Minority in Parliament has served notice it will head to the Supreme Court on Thursday, July 8 to demand interpretation on the payments to Article 71 office holders, which now include wives of the first two gentlemen of the land.

Announcing this to journalists on Wednesday, July 7, Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi Constituency Rockson Nelson Etse Dafeamekpor said the committee tasked to review the salaries acted ultra vires.

Professor Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu led a committee tasked to make recommendations on the salaries of Article 71 office holders for parliamentary approval.

Quite recently, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, indicated that the last Parliament approved the recommendations by the Prof Ntiamoah-Baidu-led committee.

Among the recommendations is payment of monthly salaries to spouses of the President and Vice President same as cabinet ministers.

“The committee had no mandate to make the kind of recommendation they did,” Mr Dafeamekpor told journalists.

“They acted utterly ultra vires their powers because the terms of reference for the committee was to review emoluments of Article 71 office holders. They didn’t tell them to go and review conditions of persons who do not fall within the bracket of Article 71 office holders.”

He said they will seek interpretation from the apex court of the country with a writ to be filed on Thursday.

Already, the Youth Wing of his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has declared a nationwide #NoSalariesUprising to demand complete abrogation of the move.

“The terms of reference of the Prof Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee gave out the President as the chief architect of the decision to pay his wife, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and wife of Vice President, Mrs Samira Bawumia,” a press release issued by NDC’s National Youth Organiser George Opare Addo accused.

“For want of a better expression, the decision to further drain the Consolidated Fund with needless expenditure is a pet project of President Akufo-Addo.”

It later added: “By this circular, we announce the #NoSalaryUprising across the nation by the young people of this country until this obnoxious development is reversed.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

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