Supreme Court sets date to give ruling

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The Supreme Court has scheduled May 4, 2022, to offer its verdict on the payment of allowances to the First and Second Ladies of the Republic; that is Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia.

The Prof Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee last year, recommended emoluments for the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature, as well as a recommendation that the First Lady and the wife of the Vice President should be paid salary.

The Committee had recommended that the First Lady be paid a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is a Member of Parliament (MP) while her husband is in office and the payment of a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served one full term as President or 100% of the salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.

The Committee further suggested that the Second Lady be paid a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is not an MP while her husband is in office and the payment of a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of a Minister of State who is not a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served one full term as President or 100% of the salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.

The Committee’s recommendations sparked public outrage, with some Ghanaians expressing various views on the inclusion of presidential spouses as Article 71 officeholders to be paid as Cabinet Ministers.

Some Members of Parliament also called for an overhaul of the arrangement, saying it was unsustainable.

Legal arguments were filed in the case by private legal practitioner, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, on behalf of his clients Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP for South Dayi), Dr Clement Apaak (Builsa South Mp) and Frederick Nii Commey.

Their lawyer, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, insisted that the First and Second Ladies are not Article 71 Office Holders and, as such, requests that the Supreme Court declare the portions of the Committee’s report pertaining to them as unconstitutional, null, void, and of no effect.

In this regard, the First and Second Ladies declined the offer of allowances and went ahead to refund the monies paid them so far to the state.

The First Lady later described some of the reactions as distasteful and sought to portray her as “a venal, self-serving and self-centered woman” who is insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.

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