The Aliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), a pro-democracy grouping, has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, over the unpaid ex-gratia of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, his vice Aliu Mahama and some former ministers of state, calling on the House to act on the issue.
According to AFAG, although President John Atta Mills has failed to pay the constitutionally prescribed end-of-service benefits (ex-gratia) of former President Kufuor, Aliu Mahama and others, and acted in violation of the 1992 Constitution with impunity, Parliament has kept mute on the case.
It will be recalled that following populist agitation about the quantum of ex-gratia recommended for public office holders, including members of the executive, and Members of Parliament under Article 71 of the constitution by the Chinery-Hesse Committee (CHC), President Mills set up the Ishmael Yamson Committee (IYC) to review the recommendations, which were duly approved by Parliament.
However, speaking to journalists at the Parliament House after presenting the petition to the Speaker, a leading member of AFAG, James Kwabena Bomfeh, also called Kabila, argued that President Mills had no mandate to set up the Yamson Committee to review the recommendations of CHC.
“We find this as an attack on the powers of the august house of Parliament and abuse of the separation of powers that should be accorded the various arms of government”, Mr. Bomfeh stated in the petition which was received by Majority leader Cletus Apul Avoka, on behalf of the Speaker.
The petition was signed by nine leading members of AFAG, including James K. Bomfeh Jnr., Samuel Awuku, Arnold Boateng, Nana Afriyie Ayew and James Apeatu-Ankra. Others were Henry Haruna Asante, Olive Quartey, Martin Adjei Mensa Korsa and Abeiku Dickson.
According to AFAG, not only were the President’s actions a flagrant disregard of the constitution, it “seriously amounts to President J.E.A. Mills arrogating to himself, and for that matter the executive powers which the sovereign people of Ghana have ceded to them”.
The pro-democracy group was also worried that members of the fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic have received what the exited executive approved for them, yet they remain silent about the denial of what is due to the past executive.
It has accordingly appealed to Parliament to exercise the constitutional rights reposed in it by the electorate by insisting the executive does what is appropriate and implore President Mills to implement what has been approved by Parliament.
“We remain loyal to the principles of accountability and exercise respect for the tenets of our democracy. Failure to heed our very humble plea will surely leave us with no option but to proceed to the Supreme Court of the land to seek redress and strict adherence to the dictates of the constitution”, Mr. Bomfeh stated. “We hope to hear from Parliament before the House rises from its sitting, if not we will have no option than to go to the Supreme Court”, he added.
Source: Daily Guide/Ghana
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