NDC MPs sue AG over salaries for First and Second Ladies

Attorney General, Godfred Dame Yeboah Attorney General, Godfred Dame Yeboah

Two Minority Members of Parliament Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor of South Dayi and Dr Clement Apaak of Builsa South and one other person Frederick Nii Commey have sued the Attorney General in the Supreme Court over the approval of payment of salaries for First and Second Ladies in Ghana.

In all, they are seeking a total of eight reliefs from the apex court. The reliefs are; A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee appointed by the President under Article 71(1), only had jurisdiction to make recommendations in respect of salaries, allowances payable, facilities and privileges of Article 71 office holders under the 1992 Constitution.

A further declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Prof Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee had no jurisdiction, mandate or authority to make any recommendations in respect of salaries, allowances payable, facilities and privileges of persons other than persons specified under Article 71 of 1992 Constitution.

A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the 1992 Constitution, the Prof Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee exceeded its jurisdiction, mandate and authority when it purported to make recommendations in respect of privileges, facilities, salaries and allowances payable to the 1st Lady and the wife of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana.

A further declaration that the recommendations of the Committee, to the extent that it pertains to the 1st Lady and the wife of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, are null, void and of no effect.

A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, 1992, spouses of the President and the Vice President are not Article 71 office holders for the purposes of receipt of wages and emoluments.

An order declaring the recommendations in respect of privileges, facilities, salaries and allowances payable to the 1st Lady and the wife of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana as unconstitutional and void.

An order restraining the President of the Republic of Ghana or any other arm, ministry, department or agency of the Executive, from implementing any recommendations of the Prof Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee which pertains to the 1st Lady and the wife of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana.

Any further Order(s) or direction(s) as this Honourable Court may deem necessary.

Parliament has approved a recommendation by committee Ntiamoah-Baidoo which was set up in June 2019 by President Akufo-Addo, to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances First or Second Spouses.

This has incurred the wrath of some members of the Ghanaian society who believe that this has come at a time the public purse is under severe pressure.

For instance Private legal practitioner Professor Kwaku Asare has said the five-member Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee that arrived at the decision whioch was approved by the House violated the 1992 Constitution,

In a Facebook post, Professor Asare, said "Consider a Justice of the Supreme Court who served for a decade at each of the Superior Courts. On retirement, he will grab ex gratia equal to 30 months salary of a Supreme Court Judge + 20 months salary of an Appeal Court Judge + 10 months salary of a High Court Judge.

Under Ntiamoa-Baidu that is: (₵22,724 * 30) + (₵21,528 * 20) + (₵19,136 * 10) That is ₵1,303,640 ex gratia for the 30 years of service.

"A thank you present for all the brilliant, timely, memorable, quotable and landmark judgments written over the years.

"Then he retires at the current salary of ₵22,724 per month plus health, security and auto benefits. The salary and benefits are then boosted every 4 years by a Committee that never includes those who have publicly expressed negative views on this boondoggle.

Source: 3news.com