Dr. Wereko Brobbey petitions parliament to stop salary payment to presidential spouses

Former Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Charles Wereko Brobbey has petitioned parliament, seeking to enquire about the basis on which it approved emolument to be paid to spouses of the president and vice president.

Wereko Brobbey

He also asked the legislature to use the very power it utilized in approving the said emolument to halt its implementation.

His one-page petition was addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin to call on the House to suspend the payment of monthly allowances to incumbent spouses of the President and his Vice.

Dr. Wereko Brobbey urged parliament to suspend all budgetary allocations, disbursements among others until the Supreme Court has cleared all uncertainties about the legalities of the controversial emolument.

“If indeed Parliament has approved such payments, I will be grateful if you could educate me as to the legal authority that underpinned Parliament’s action.

“As far as I know, neither the first nor second ladies are elected offices or appointed under article 71 of the 4th republic of the constitution. It is my contention that every payment charged to the consolidated fund must be in line with the laws of the country,” part of the petition reads.

The government has secured the approval of parliament to formalise the payment of salaries to the First lady and the Second lady which it said has been ongoing for years.

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the arrangement was instituted under the Kufuor administration and has been ongoing since, adding that the current government is only seeking to formalize it.

Per the new arrangement, the presidential spouses have been placed under article 71 officeholders and will be receiving the same salaries and benefits as government ministers.

But Ghanaians have kicked against the move vehemently to the extent that some members of parliament who were part of the house to approve the spousal emolument have headed to the supreme court to challenge it.

The MPs, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamakpor for South Dayi and Clement Apaak, Builsa South in a joint suit filed at the apex court said the five-member Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu Committee set up to propose emoluments for public service holders overstepped its boundaries by proposing payments for spouses of heads of state.

Aside from them, Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye DC, Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Bono Region, has also filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the presidential spousal emolument.

The youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has also served notice that it will file a suit at the Supreme Court over the same matter.

The party’s 2020 presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama has also described the move by the government as illegal and insensitive.

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