Former President John Dramani Mahama has in what appears to be playing to the gallery promised to tackle the controversial 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 deal with the entitlement of Article 71 officer holders.
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.
“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 more than GHC300,000.00 paid to him as ex gratia.
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, 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.”