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Ex-gratia not to trap me but inappropriate for part-time work - Togbe Afede

BY: GraphicOnline

The Paramount Chief and the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV has disclosed the reasons for refunding over ¢365,000 paid to him as ex-gratia for serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020.

In a statement issued on Monday reacting to public speculation over the refund, Togbe Afede XIV said he was "uncomfortable" with the inappropriate payment given that he had already received a monthly salary and other privileges for his service.

"I did not think the payment was made to trap me, as is being speculated," Togbe Afede XIV said in the statement.

"I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it," he added.

Refund

The businessman said he refunded the money on March 4, 2022, after obtaining advice on how to do so.

He added that his rejection of the payment was consistent with "my general abhorrence of the payment of huge Ex Gratia and other outrageous benefits to people who have by their own volition offered to serve our poor country".

Read the entire statement below;

CLARIFICATION
RE: PAYMENT OF EX GRATIA

There have been various publications and comments recently on my refund of GHC365,392.67 paid into my account, and I wish to provide the following clarification:

1. While working on my tax returns towards the end of last year, I received tax receipts from the Council of State Secretariat that indicated that some money was paid into my bank account in July, 2021 as “Ex Gratia” for my four-year work as a member of the Council of State, 2017-2020.

2. I applied for and received a statement from my bankers that confirmed that indeed some money was paid into my account. I eventually confirmed from the Council of State Secretariat that the sum of GHC365,392.67 was paid into my account as Ex Gratia.

3. I did not think the payment was made to trap me, as is being speculated. I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it.

4. After weeks of trying, I obtained advice on how to refund inappropriate payments to the State, and on March 4, 2022, I made the refund into the Controller & Accountant General’s Department Suspense Account at the Bank of Ghana.

5. In my letter to the Secretary, Council of State, I stated that “It was a great honour for me to have served on the Council of State for four years, 2017 to 2020. Even though I served as chairman of one of the three (3) committees of the Council, the Economy and Special Development Initiatives Committee, and participated fully in the Council’s activities, I do not think my work merited the payment to me of a colossal sum of GHC365,392.67, as Ex Gratia, in addition to the salary I enjoyed from what was effectively a part-time job”.

6. I want to add that my rejection of the payment was consistent with my general abhorrence of the payment of huge Ex Gratia and other outrageous benefits to people who have by their own volition offered to serve our poor country.