Supreme Court delivers judgment on first ladies salary, Jan 25, 2023
The Supreme Court will on January 25, 2023 deliver a judgment on the constitutionality of the payment of salaries and allowances to spouses of the President and the Vice-President.
A seven-member panel of the court was expected to deliver its decision yesterday but the Registrar of the Court announced in the courtroom that the judgment had been adjourned to next year.
The case is a consolidation of two different suits filed by two National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) — Mr Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, South Dayi, and Dr Clement Apaak, Builsa South, and the Bono Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwame Baffoe alias Abronye D.
It is the case of the plaintiffs that it was unconstitutional for the committee created to determine salaries, allowances and emoluments of Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution office holders to have recommended payments of salaries to spouses of the President and Vice-President.
According to the plaintiffs, spouses of the President and Vice-President were not part of the Article 71 office holders and were also not even recognised under the 1992 Constitution for them to be paid salaries.
Among the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs are a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee appointed by the President under Article 71(1) only had jurisdiction to make recommendations in respect of the salaries, allowances payable, facilities and privileges of Article 71 office holders under the 1992 Constitution.
Plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the Constitution, the Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee had no jurisdiction, mandate or authority to make any recommendations in respect of salaries, allowances payable, facilities and privileges of persons other than persons specified under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs want declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 71(1) of the Constitution, the Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee exceeded its jurisdiction, mandate and authority when it purported to make recommendations in respect of privileges, facilities, salaries and allowances payable to the First Lady and the wife of the Vice-President.
“A further declaration that the recommendations of the committee, to the extent that it pertains to the 1st Lady and the wife of the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, are null, void and of no effect,” the plaintiffs said.
In addition, the plaintiffs are seeking an order declaring the recommendations in respect of privileges, facilities, salaries and allowances payable to the First Lady and the wife of the Vice-President as unconstitutional and void.
Besides, they are seeking an order restraining the President or any other arm, ministry, department or agency of the Executive from implementing any recommendation of the Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee which pertains to the First Lady and the wife of the Vice-President.
The cases were filed in July last year after the proposed allocated salaries approved by Parliament generated controversy and engendered public debates over the propriety to pay salaries to spouses of the President and Vice- President.
Following the controversy, the First Lady- Rebecca Akufo-Addo and the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, last year, rejected the proposed salaries and also refunded all allowances paid to them since their spouses ascended the presidency in 2017.