The Minority in Parliament is demanding a probe into the accounts of the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, by the Auditor General after she announced the release of a cheque of GHS899,097.84 to the State to settle all allowances paid to her from January 7, 2017, to date.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening, the Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, said there was the need for clarity on the use of the allowance and the exact source of the repaid amount.
“Since 2017 that she started taking this salary, does it mean that she doesn’t spend the money and she kept the money in her account all this while? If the answer is yes; it means that she did not need this money so why did she take the money in the first place?”
Mr. Avedzi said there was also the need to “compute the interest that the money would have accrued and pay same to the government.”
In addition, he said, “all state funding of her NGO should be audited by the Auditor-General and all that money should be refunded to the state because she is not interested in receiving state support.”
For transparency’s sake, he said the Auditor General will also “ascertain that there is sufficient money in her account so that the cheque that the has issued will not bounce.”
A letter from the office of the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, to the Chief of Staff and copied to the Chief Director of the Jubilee House, has announced that she has released a cheque of GHS899,097.84 to the state to settle all allowances paid to her from January 7, 2017, to date.
This follows the controversy over the emoluments for Presidential spouses that were recommended for approval by Parliament.
The Second Lady, Mrs. Samira Bawumia, has also promised to refund all allowances paid to her since 2017.
The recommendations were made by the five-member Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee set up in June 2019 by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
But the wives of the President and Vice President are not under the umbrella of Article 71 officeholders.
Per the Constitution, Article 71 office holders include the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court, Members of Parliament (MPs), Ministers of State, political appointees, and public servants with salaries charged to the Consolidated Fund but enjoying special constitutional privileges.
The recommended emoluments
Per the recommended emoluments, the spouse of the President is to be entitled to the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister MP while in office.
After leaving office, they will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served one full term as President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.
For the spouse of the Vice President, they will be entitled to payment of salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister non-MP when in office.
After leaving office, the spouse of the Vice President will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served one full term as the Vice President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.