The Asogli State Council has described as incorrect and misleading comments by Mr Paul Adom-Otchere regarding Togbe Afede’s rejection of an Ex-Gratia for his work as a Member of the Council of State.
Mr Adom-Otchere, on his Good Evening Ghana show on Metro TV, alleged that the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State had a record of poor attendance at Council meetings and did not merit the payment of the emolument.
This followed a release by Togbe Afede on Monday clarifying his intent for returning the money to state coffers, and which had attracted public attention.
Togbe Afede, in the release, said, “the rejection of the payment was consistent with my general abhorrence of the payment of huge Ex-Gratia and other outrageous benefits to people who have by their own volition offered to serve our poor country.”
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, signed by Mr Steven Tetteh, Secretary to the Asogli State Council, ruled out the allegations, and demanded concrete evidence of the claims.
It said Mr Adom-Otchere, in what he called a touch screen analysis, attempted to expose the constitutional justification for the payment of the post service benefit.
He alleged that Togbe Afede was on record to have attended 39 of the 242 meetings of the Council of State while a member, the statement said.
He claimed that the Agbogbomefia had accepted other emoluments attached to the position, including a bank loan and transportation allowances, which he described as double standards.
“The numbers Paul Adom-Otchere presented on Togbe’s attendance at meetings of the Council of State are both incorrect, misleading, and a disingenuous attempt to discredit Togbe’s performance at the Council. We challenge him to provide the Council’s attendance register from which he compiled his numbers for all to know the truth,” the statement said.
“The Council had three committees, one of which Togbe Chaired; the Economy and Special Development Initiatives Committee. And Togbe had an excellent plenary meeting attendance record.”
The statement said Togbe Afede had accepted a commercial loan offered to members, which he had duly repaid.
It denied claims over transport allowance, saying: “Togbe presented himself as a resident of Accra and did not claim any transport allowances from the Council.”
Dr Eliklim Apetorgbor, the Special Aide to Togbe Afede, also in a release, backed the response of the Asogli State Council, and said the Agbogbomefia, was “one of the most committed and regular members of the Council of State meetings”.
Public outcry against the payment of Ex-Gratia had resulted in calls for a review of Article 71 of the Constitution, which granted the President the power to determine salaries and emoluments of heads of the three Arms of Government, political appointees, and some public servants.