Former President John Dramani Mahama has assured Ghanaians that the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government will deal with issues concerning the payment of ex-gratia.
According to him, the 1992 Constitution which is the supreme law of Ghana needs to be amended to as well deal with the entitlement of Article 71 officer holders.
The 2020 NDC flagbearer believes the incumbent Akufo-Addo-led government has derailed democratic gains made in Ghana.
Speaking at a meeting with NDC lawyers, the former President assured that if the NDC is given the nod in 2024, the review process of the constitution which commenced during the period of late President Atta-Mills will continue.
“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.
In recent years, arguments have surfaced about the number of officials who benefit from the ex gratia payments and whether there is a need for the payments at all.
After Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, a former Council of State member, refunded monies paid to him as ex gratia, many have criticised public office holders as to whether they deserve the monies paid to them.
Togbe Afede XIV who served as a member of the Council of State, an advisory committee to President Akufo-Addo between 2017 and 2020, while refunding the money stated that “I returned the ex gratia money not because I did not need money. In fact, at that particular time, I needed money very badly to meet various family obligations.
“But I truly believed that the money was not deserved. It was inappropriate for what I will emphasize again was essentially part-time work.”
In 2017, however, Ghanaian lawyer, Elikplim L. Agbemava, went to the Supreme Court seeking clarification on some of the benefits enjoyed by the Article 71 officeholders.
He wanted presidential staffers who benefit from salaries, allowances, and privileges like the Article 71 officeholders, to be stripped of such gratuities, claiming it “is inconsistent with Article 71 and therefore unconstitutional.”