Stop demanding for ex-gratia amidst Coronavirus pandemic – Ablakwa fires former MPs

A group of over two-hundred individuals who described themselves as the Forum of Former Members of Parliament has petitioned government demanding for payment of salaries arrears that they were supposed to be paid while in office between 2005 and 2009.

According to the report available, the salary arrest for the affected individuals (article 70 office holders between 2005 and 2009) amount to GH¢29.7 million. The Chief of Staff Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare on 22nd April, 2020 had directed the Auditor-General Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo to conduct and published an audit into the demands for payment of salary arrears to the Forum of Former Members of Parliament.

Letter from the Chief of Staff to the Auditor-General to commence an audit verification
Letter from the Chief of Staff to the Auditor-General to commence an audit verification

The Auditor General Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo after his audit, advised the the Chief of Staff Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare to reject the request in the midst of the worldwide crisis which is devastating many lives and collapsing the economy of many countries.

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In the Auditor-General’s report, he described the demand of the Forum of Former Members of Parliament as invalid and relating to conflict of interest since most of the affected individuals are currently serving under president Akufo-Addo’s government including the Senior Minister, the Chief of Staff, the Majority speaker of Parliament, and the president Akufo-Addo and many. Mr. Domelovo also added that, in the mean time, the country [Ghana] is at war with an invisible enemy thus; Coronavirus pandemic, hence it’s needless to be demanding for payment of salary arrears.

Report by the Auditor-General to the Chief of Staff on payment of salary arrears to article 70 office holders between 2005 and 2009
Report by the Auditor-General to the Chief of Staff on payment of salary arrears to article 70 office holders between 2005 and 2009

Many speakers including some Ghanaians have supported the Auditor-General’s report. In adding a voice to the matter was the Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who has lauded the decision of the Auditor-General Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo for asking government through the Chief of Staff to reject the payment of salary arrears to some former and current Members of Parliament.

The Ranking Member of Foreign Affairs who was the former Deputy Minister of Education during former President John Dramani Mahama’s government on his social media handle urged the individuals of Forum of Former Members of Parliament pushing for the payment of about GH¢29.7 million salary arrears to immediately abort such agenda in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“No politician should be agitating for ex-gratia arrears at this traumatic time. Auditor General Daniel Domelevo is absolutely God sent and a true patriot. The ex-gratia agenda should be immediately aborted and priority given to the masses who are losing jobs and livelihoods to COVID-19.” He explained.

Meanwhile, the Majority speaker of Parliament Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu the former Member of Parliament for Sege Constituency Hon. Alfred Abayateye and others disagreed with the reasons the Auditor-General gave for rejecting the payments, adding they are disappointed in the actions taken by Mr. Domelrvo. Some of whom said, they were cheated and if it will take them to the international court, they with organize their members and seek for redress.

Find attached copy of the letter from Forum of Former Members of Parliament letters and a list of affected article 70 office holders to the Chief of Staff.

Letter from Forum of Former Members of Parliament and a list of affected article 70 office holders to the Chief of Staff. 
Letter from Forum of Former Members of Parliament and a list of affected article 70 office holders to the Chief of Staff.

Letter from Forum of Former Members of Parliament and a list of affected article 70 office holders to the Chief of Staff. 
Letter from Forum of Former Members of Parliament and a list of affected article 70 office holders to the Chief of Staff.
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