Payment of salaries to Prez/Veep wives, Supreme Court to make decision

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Payment of salaries to Prez/Veep wives, Supreme Court to make decision

The Supreme Court will on February 28, 2024, deliver judgement on two separate suits challenging the payment of salaries to first and second ladies.

This was after two sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) and another went to the apex court to challenge the payment of emolument to Ghana’s first and second ladies.

Rockson Dafeamekpor, South Dayi MP, Dr Clement Appak, MP for Builsa Constituency and Nii Tackie Commey sued the state through the Attorney General challenging the payments.

Kwame Baffoe alias Abronye, Bono Regional New Patriotic Party (NPP) has filed a similar writ against the Attorney General.

During the Supreme Court proceedings, Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, stated that the suits had previously been adjourned for judgement by the court.

However, the Chief Justice noted that some panel members were on retirement, necessitating a new date for judgment to allow for new judges to be empaneled.

She and other panel members briefly took submissions from lawyers in the two suits.

Mr George Kodzo Adabadze, the counsel who represented the two MPs and another (Plaintiffs) relied on his case statement and other documents filed.

Mr Adabadze contended that the Prof. Ntiamoah Baidu Committee exceeded its jurisdiction when it recommended the extension of payment of salaries to the first and second ladies.

Essinam Kporku who had been called to the bar two years ago, earned admiration from the judges when she convinced the panel of the reasons why she was in court.

Ms Kporku had represented her senior (lawyer) who was not in court. Her senior represented Abronye.

It is the practice that lawyers with five years standing at the bar could only appear before the apex court and usually lawyers with few years of practice are “grilled,” by the court.

Diana Asonaba Dapaah, deputy Attorney General relied on the statement of case filed on August 6, 2021.

The deputy Attorney General noted the suit filed was an abuse of the court process and no cause for action has been established.

According to her, Parliament was not always bound to go by Prof Ntiamoah Baidu’s recommendation.

Parliament had adopted the Committee on Emolument’s proposals for Article 71 office holders, which required spouses of the President and Vice President to be paid monthly as Cabinet ministers.

The two MPs and another contended that the decision to pay the first and second ladies was unconstitutional since, according to Article 71 (10 and (2)), the spouses of the President and Vice President did not fall under public office holders.

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