The youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has served notice that it will file a suit at the Supreme Court over the payment of spouses of the President and the Vice President.
According to the party, the decision by the Akufo-Addo led administration to make the payments official is illegal.
The NDC youth wing in a press statement signed by its National Youth Organiser, George Opare Addo, said it won’t allow the recommendation to be implemented.
According to the NDC youth, the move is an attack on the 1992 Constitution, hence their position.
“It is instructive to point out that we find the attempt to institutionalize the payment of salaries to the spouses of the President and the Vice President as an attack on the constitution of the country.”
“The provisions of article 71 of the 1992 Constitution is elaborate and unambiguous by listing the public officials bound to draw their salaries from the Consolidated Fund.”
The NDC youth argue that the Emolument Committee does not have the powers to make the said recommendation, hence must not be adhered to.
“Indeed, the Constitution never clothed the Emolument Committee any power to introduce any category of persons to benefit from the Consolidated fund without due regard to article 108.”
“It is our considered view that the Committee erred in making such recommendation. The bully approval process by the NPP majority in the last Parliament and subsequent acquiescence of President Akufo-Addo of the recommendation is an unjustifiable assault on the Constitution, which must not go unchallenged.”
However, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information has justified the payments saying it’s not new.
He also said President Akufo-Addo did not institute, however, it was from a Commission set up to draft emoluments for public service holders and was approved by Parliament.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that an arrangement that was introduced by former President John Agyekum Kufuor during the start of his Presidency in 2000 had seen spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents, since then, enjoy allowances, though there was no formal documentation to support that.
“President Kufuor, in his wisdom, instituted this because of the bad situations of some spouses of some former Heads of States then. Presidents Mills and Mahama even increased the rates of these benefits during their time.
“The truth of the matter is that all surviving spouses of Heads of State, current and former, have always received salaries. Lordina Mahama, Naadu Mills, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Faustina Acheampong, Fulera Liman etc have all been receiving salaries since President Kufuor’s time.
“What has happened now is that the arrangement has been made formal but that was done legally based on the recommendation by the Emoluments Committee,” the Information Minister emphasised.