‘Mahama did not amass Gh¢14m as ex-gratia’ – Aide

Source The Ghana Report

Former President John Dramani Mahama has refuted claims that he benefitted a whopping GH¢ 14 million as ex-gratia payment in 2013.

This was in reaction to claims made by the Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye DC, to the effect that Mr Mahama had fleeced the country of needed resources.

A statement signed by his aide, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, on Monday, 5 September 2022, said he had never collected such an amount as ex-gratia in his political life.

The release said such fabrications against Mr Mahama are peddled just to dent his credibility.

His aide stated that records of ex-gratia payment are available with the Chief of Staff and the Controller and Accountant General’s Office, and confirmation of his denial could be checked from there.

The statement urged the public to disregard the claims.

“We urge the public to ignore the unintelligent rants of the said Kwame Baffoe, who has gained notoriety for fabricating and propagating falsehood on behalf of Nana Akufo–Addo against John Mahama. His claims are false.”

The statement contended that if such payments had been made, it would’ve shown on the annual Auditor General’s reports.

“It will be surprising if any such payment had been made to the former President and has not been reflected in any of the numerous Auditor General’s reports presented to Parliament since 2013,” the statement said.

“We challenge the office of the Chief of Staff and the Presidency to provide proof of the payment of any such amount and stop using idle miscreants among its ranks to spread falsehood,” the statement added.

Discussions on ex-gratia emerged after former President Mahama hinted that the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government would champion a review of the 1992 constitution to tackle issues such as ex-gratia payments and reformation of the Judiciary.

As a result of this promise, Abronye DC alleged that Mr Mahama had received the said amount as ex-gratia in 2013. He, thus, suggested that the former President could not be trusted on the issue.

Conversations around ex-gratia payment have become of the essence in the political dialogue of the country recently.

Just last month, On 21 August 2022, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, reiterated his resolve to turn down any ex-gratia paid to him for serving on the Council of State over and over again because of the country’s current economic challenges.

He said he returned the ex-gratia paid to him as a Council of State member because he did not merit such a huge sum of money for serving a poor country like Ghana.

In June 2022, Togbe Afede XIV returned over GH¢300,000 paid to him for serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020.

A statement issued read, “It was not appropriate to be paid ex-gratia since I was paid monthly for serving on the council of state”.

Speaking at the maiden youth empowerment forum and anti-corruption day celebration ahead of the celebration of this year’s Asogli Yam Festival at the Asogli Palace in Ho, the revered chief noted that he would reject any ex-gratia again if the opportunity presents itself.

“I returned the ex-gratia amount I was given not because I didn’t need the money. In fact, at that particular time, I needed money very badly to meet various family obligations. But I truly believe that money was not deserved”.

“It was inappropriate for what I will emphasize again was essentially part-time work”, he stressed.

He explained that he never received a transport allowance for any of the meetings he attended because he registered as an Accra resident.

“The record I promised my people will be set straight very soon. As to whether I will do it again, yes, I will do it again,” he insisted.

“Yes, I will do it again because our country is very poor, so anybody who sacrifices or has offered to voluntarily work for this country must be very considerate”.

“The constitution allows certain payments to Article 71 office holders, but yet the constitution was not very definitive as to the quantum of those payments, which means a committee must be created to determine the amount to be paid. And the committee, when set up in the future, must do a better job,” he added.

He urged committee members tasked to determine allowances, salaries and other benefits of Article 71 office holders to ensure their recommendations are within the context of the economic situation in the country.




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