Supreme Court

The Supreme Court says retired Members of Parliament ought not to be paid and receive special or extra pension payments.

The seven-member panel unanimously ruled, however, that the retired MPs were entitled to gratuities embodied in Article 114 of the 1992 Constitution.

Reading the judgement of the Apex Court of the land, Justice Nasiru Sulemana Gbadegbe, held that it was unconstitutional for the Chinery-Hesse Committee to grant a special pension scheme for MP’s who have finished serving their term.

The decision of the Supreme Court formed part of Justice Gbadegbe’s Valedictory Judgement delivered on Thursday, in Accra.

Mr David Apasera and thirty-nine former MPs in the year 2017, sued the government for GHC233,495.00 each, being their accrued monthly pension pay since January 2009.

The former MPs contended that the Chinery-Hesse Presidential Emolument Committee spelt out provisions that parliamentarians who had attained the age of 50 years and above and exited Parliament after serving two full terms must be paid some sums of money at pension benefits.

The Attorney-General (A-G) and the Minister of Finance were defendants in the matter.

The plaintiffs, in their statement of claim, averred that since 2011 they had been negotiating with the government, through the Ministry of Finance and the leadership of Parliament, for aspects of the Chinery-Hesse Committee report concerning their pensions to be paid, but the negotiations, they claimed, had proved futile.

“Several attempts, demands, or requests made on the government to have these pension benefits paid to the plaintiffs have proved futile,” they said.

According to the plaintiffs, based on a letter dated June 25, 2015, the A-G directed the Ministry of Finance to make payments to them but the ministry had “refused, neglected or failed to pay the said money to the plaintiffs.”

The former MPs held that the action of the ministry continued to cause them distress, as most of them remained unemployed because of old age and were, therefore, unable to sustain their families.

According to them being advanced in years had also come with various medical conditions, the management of which required daily doses of expensive medication.

The former MPs said on November 24, 2015, a notice to institute civil action was served on the state, but the A-G, apart from a letter dated December 22, 2015, which acknowledged its receipt of the suit, had failed to respond.

The former legislators claimed that the conduct of the government showed that unless compelled by the courts, it was not ready to pay the pensions duly owed them.

The 40 former MPs are David Apasera, Dr. Charles Brempong-Yeboah, Francis Aggrey Agbotese, Nii Adu Daku Mante, Kwame Adusa Okerchiri, Godfred Otchere, Moses Dani Baah, K. Brandford Adu, Victor Okuley Nortey, Yaw Barimah, Kwadwo Darko Adjei, and Samuel Gyamfi Adu.

Others are Joseph Tsatsu Agbenu, Eugene Atta Agyapong, Abraham Osei Aidoo, Dr. Kwame Ampofo, Dr. Matthew Kwaku Antwi, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, Yaw Mensah Asiedu, Angela Baiden-Amissah.

The rest are:Kwamena Bartels, Freddie W.A. Blay, Sampson Boafo, Chrisitne Churcher, Kenneth Dzirasah, Isaac E. Edumadze, Nkrabea Effah Dartey, Kwame Owusu Frimpong, Kitson Akomeng Kissi, Joseph Henry Mensah, Mrs Anna Nyamakye, Albert Kwaku Obbin, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Francis Mensah Osafo, Akwasi Adjei Osei, K. Owusu Adjapong, K. Opoku Adusei, Quarm Sam, Alex Sofo Seidu and Alhassan Malik Yakubu.

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