Home News How First and Second Ladies Rejected and Refunded All Allowances Given to Them Since 2017

How First and Second Ladies Rejected and Refunded All Allowances Given to Them Since 2017

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The Supreme Court of Ghana has declared unconstitutional the payment of salaries to the spouses of the President and Vice President.

The court’s decisions came following separate suits filed by South Dayi Member of Parliament (MP) Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Bono Regional Chairman Kwame Baffoe Abronye.

The controversies emerged after recommendations by the presidential emolument committee for the spouses of the President and Vice President to be paid wages and emoluments. Mr. Dafeamekpor’s suit challenged the authority of the emoluments committee to make such recommendations, while Mr. Abronye sought to declare parliament’s approval of the salaries as inconsistent with Article 71 of the 1992 constitution.

In unanimous decisions, the apex court upheld reliefs that sought to declare the approvals and subsequent payment of salaries and emoluments to the First and Second Ladies as unconstitutional.

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In 2021, The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, announced that she could not accept the emoluments approved for her by Parliament. In consultation with the President, she decided to refund all the monies paid to her since 2017, totaling GHS899,097.84. This decision was conveyed in a statement by Korkor Bleboo, the Director of Communications at the Office of the First Lady.

The statement clarified that Mrs. Akufo-Addo did not request any allowance and only received what was informally attached to her status. She also decided not to accept any future payments recommended by the Ntiamoa-Baidu committee.

Second Lady Also Rejects Allowances, Promises Refunds Since 2017
Following suit, the Second Lady, Mrs. Samira Bawumia, in consultation with the Vice President, rejected the new emoluments approved by Parliament. She vowed to refund all allowances paid to her since 2017 and will not accept any further payments recommended by the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu-led committee.

A statement by Kwame Twum, Senior Aide to the Second Lady, confirmed her decision to reject the allowances and refund the amounts received since 2017.

The government faced severe criticism after it was revealed that Parliament had approved monthly salaries for the First and Second Ladies, equivalent to those of cabinet ministers. This revelation sparked public outrage, especially considering that the recommendations were made by Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu’s committee.

Two lawsuits challenging the payment of allowances to presidential spouses were already filed at the Supreme Court, which ultimately led to the landmark judgment declaring the payments unconstitutional.

Credit: Pulse Ghana

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