The Member of Parliament for the Builsa South Constituency, Clement Apaak, who is one of the plaintiffs in court challenging recommendations of the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee on emoluments for spouses of the President and Vice President, has appealed to the Chief Justice to prioritize the case and fast-track the hearing.
This follows the resolve of the plaintiffs to pursue the case despite a rejection of the committee’s recommendations by the current first and second ladies and their subsequent promise to refund all allowances paid them since 2017.
In an interview with Citi News, Clement Apaak said the situation demands the urgent attention of the Chief Justice and the judiciary to help bring finality to the controversial subject.
Mr. Apaak contended that the gesture of the spouses of the president and vice president to return the payments is not enough to settle the matter.
“What they are seeking to refund is not the issue under contention. That is not the concern of Ghanaians, so they may choose to return it [the money] voluntarily. But that does not address the reasons for which I and Dafeamekpor are in court. That provision in the report could be given effect away from the public eye, and so they may say they reject what was to come to them, but their public rejection is not law until a court pronounces and quashes it. I want to plead with the Chief Justice and the Lordships of the Supreme Court to consider the public interest and make room for a hearing so that this matter can be brought to a proper closure,” he said.
Mr. Apaak and the Member of Parliament for the South Dayi Constituency, Rockson Dafeamakpor, have jointly filed a suit at the Supreme Court over the matter.
The two want the court to declare that the Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee tasked to make recommendations in respect of salaries, allowances payable to Article 71 officeholders, exceeded its mandate by recommending the payment of emoluments to spouses of the president and the vice president.
The five-member committee was set up in June 2019 by President Nana Akufo-Addo, to make recommendations on the salaries and other gratuities of Article 71 officeholders.
The recommendations have already been approved by Parliament.
Declare emoluments for presidential spouses as null and void – Abronye to Supreme Court
The Bono Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Kwame Baffoe Abronye, popularly known as Abronye DC, has also filed a court action over the emoluments said to have been approved by Parliament for spouses of the President and the Vice President.
In the application filed at the Supreme Court on Thursday, July 8, 2021, and sighted by Citi News, Abronye DC prayed the apex court to rule that the Presidential Spouse Emoluments is null and void.
Some Ghanaians are incensed after it emerged that the wife of the President, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and his Vice, Samira Bawumia, are to receive salaries just like cabinet ministers.
Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Mrs. Samira Bawumia have in separate statements announced that they will not accept the committee’s recommendations and will return all allowances that have accrued to them since 2017.