The Fast Track High Court on Monday exposed the official fallacy perpetrated by the ex-Deputy Chief of Staff (CoS) under the Mills’ administration, Dr. Valerie E. Sawyerr to oppose the legitimate pension and gratuity entitlements of Mr. Edward Dua Agyeman, a former Auditor-General, contrary to the benefits accorded him under Article 70 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.
A letter to that effect dated October 18, 2010, and signed by Dr. Sawyerr stated, “Following the confirmation that Mr. Edward Dua Agyeman, former Auditor General, was a political appointee and not a career staff of the Audit Service or any other public service and therefore not qualified for retirement benefits as provided in the Greenstreets Report, it has been decided that he should be paid the End-of-Service Benefits (ESB) applicable to political appointee, i.e three months’ salary for every completed year of service or part thereof. He is not to be paid pension since he is not qualified to receive it.”
The then government’s intransigent position to deny the former Auditor-General of his Constitutional privileges was a protracted legal tussle which the latter went to court to seek interpretation on the matter.
The court, presided over by Justice Paul Uuter Dery upheld that any review of the conditions of pension payable to a former holder of the position of Auditor-General, as will be determined by the report of any Presidential Committee on Emoluments of Article 71 Office Holders, was applicable to Mr. Dua Agyeman.
The Plaintiff (Mr. Dua Agyeman) had prayed the court that he retired from the Audit Service on May 19, 2010 and in response to his request for the payment of his gratuity and pension, he received a letter dated October 18, 2010 and signed by Dr. Valerie Sawyerr, informing him of the decision of the government not to pay him retirement benefits in accordance with Article 71 (1) of the Constitution.
The Plaintiff stated, the letter further explained that he (Dua Agyeman) was a political appointee and not a career staff of the Audit Service and, therefore did not qualify for pension.
But the court in its ruling on the case declared that the Plaintiff was entitled to the payment of gratuity and pension in accordance with the recommendations of the Reports on a Review of Facilities and Privileges of Article 71 Office Holders in 2008, as stated by the Chinery Hesse Report.
The court granted for payment to the plaintiff a monthly pension equivalent to the salary of the Auditor-General currently at post, with effect from May 2010 to June 15, 2012.
It also granted that interest on the amount at the prevailing bank rate and an order for the payment of a monthly pension equivalent to the plaintiff’s salary as adjusted from time to time at post, which is equivalent to that of a Justice of the Court of Appeal and was being paid to the plaintiff’s predecessor.
In addition, the court granted a request to an order for the provision of one free chauffeur-driven vehicle in which the plaintiff would bear it expenses.
However, to emphasised the exposure by the court against the former Deputy Chief of Staff’s false position on the law.
The New Crusading GUIDE has reproduced below this story the two letters signed by Dr. Valerie Sawyyer, challenging Mr. Dua Agyeman to demand for legitimate claims of his entitlements.
Source: Philip Forson/New Crusading Guide/Ghana
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