Coming events they say, cast their shadows. The furore over former President Kufour’s ex-gratia seems to be far from over, following the Ishmael Yamson Committee (IYC) report that the Chinery Hesse Committee recommendation cannot be the basis for determining those emoluments.
It would be recalled that in March this year, President Mills appointed the Ishmael Yamson Committee to review the Chinery Hesse Committee (CHC) report on ex-gratia payable to Article 71 office holders. The committee had Mr Ishmael Yamson as its chairman, with Mrs Helen K. Lokko, Prof Takyiwaa Manuh, Dr Sulley Gariba and Mr Dennis K.Y. Vormawor as members.The IYC meanwhile, has completed its report and has faulted the CHC recommendations. The membership of the CHC was made up of Mrs Chinery-Hesse, as Chairman, with Mr Alhassan Andani and Mr Fred Oware as members.
The Ishmael Yamson Committee report cuts the number of vehicles for the former president from six to four – two saloon and two cross-country vehicles with drivers who should be state employees. It said the vehicles must be fully maintained, fuelled and insured. However, replacement of these vehicles should be governed by policies pertaining within the public service. The report also said the state should provide and maintain a fully-furnished house with reasonable modern amenities befitting the status of a former president.
This also goes against the recommendations of the Chinery Hesse Committee, which had suggested that the former president should have two retirement homes – one in Accra and one at a location of his choice in any part of the country. The IYC recommends that until an official house is provided for a former president living in his own house, should be entitled to housing allowance in addition to office accommodation, 24-hour security, domestic support services and free utility services covering water, electricity and telephone.
The IYC also suggests that the foundation recommended by the Chinery-Hesse Committee for former president should not be funded with state funds but rather government must work to get alternative funding for the foundation. However, the NPP MP for Bosomtwe, Hon. Simon Osei, sharply disagrees with the IYC report and has hinted at moves to impeach President John Evans Atta Mills. According to him, impeachment proceedings against the President is an option that is still open to the Minority.
Speaking on KOKROKOO morning show, Hon. Simon Osei opined that the singular action by President Mills to “set-up another committee to review the work of a Parliament he did not preside over, contravenes the laws of the land.” Quoting extensively from Article 69 (1a), Article 69(2, 3, 4, 10, 11), and Article 71(1d), as the basis for his claims, Hon Simon Osei posited that, “what needs to be done is to call for his (Prez Mill’s) immediate impeachment.” Article 69 (1), states that “the President shall be removed from office if he is found, in accordance with the provisions of this article -(a) to have acted in willful violation of the oath of allegiance and the presidential oath set out in the Second Schedule to, or in willful violation of any other provision of, this Constitution”.
The other provisions in Article 69 (2, 3, 4, 10, 11) sheds light on how to remove a President from office. Whilst, Article 71(1d) touches on the salaries and allowances payable to, and the facilities and privileges of Members of Parliament and other government appointees. When reminded of the fact that the NDC has majority in Parliament and any attempt to impeach the President would be like searching for a needle in a haystack, the MP posited that “sometimes winning is not everything, besides what we know is that it will be captured in the record books for posterity to know that an impeachment process was once started in the country.” “The laws of the land need to be tested,” he added.
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