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“The 1992 Constitution will be reviewed by the next NDC government to address ex-gratia payments” – Mahama

Former president John Dramani Mahama has reassured Ghanaians that issues relating to ex-gratia payments will be addressed by the following National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

He asserts that changes must be made to the 1992 Constitution, which serves as Ghana’s ultimate legislation, in order to address the rights of officers covered by Article 71.

The 2020 NDC nominee thinks Ghana’s progress toward democracy has been undermined by the current Akufo-Addo administration.

The former president promised that the constitution reform process that began under the late President Atta-Mills will continue if the NDC is approved in 2024 while speaking at a meeting with NDC attorneys.

“The next NDC government must commit to the implementation of the review of the 1992 Constitution, which was begun by President John Evans Atta Mills of blessed memory.

“This review should among others aim at reforming the judiciary and tackle head-on issues on ex-gratia payments and other matters of Article 71 emoluments,” Mahama stated.

Arguments concerning the number of officials who receive ex gratia payments in recent years, as well as whether the payments are really necessary, have come to light.

Many have questioned if public office holders deserve the money they are paid after Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, a former member of the Council of State, reimbursed the ex gratia money given to him.

While returning the funds, Togbe Afede XIV, who represented Ghana between 2017 and 2020 on the Council of State, a presidential advisory body, said, “I returned the ex gratia money not because I did not need money. In reality, I desperately required money at that time to meet with several family members.

“But I truly believed that the money was not deserved. It was inappropriate for what I will emphasize again was essentially part-time work.”

Elikplim L. Agbemava, a Ghanaian attorney, went to the Supreme Court in 2017 to ask for clarification on some of the advantages enjoyed by the Article 71 officeholders.

He demanded that the salary, benefits, and privileges enjoyed by presidential staff members, who also hold offices covered by Article 71, be taken away since they “are contradictory with Article 71 and consequently unconstitutional.”

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana

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