Criminalizing NDC MP’s doubling as Ministers: Akufo-Addo and the Police CID have it wrong

Folks, we have read news reports about the so-called “double-intake” (the Nigerian Professor Okonjo, where are you?) in terms of MP’s appointed as Ministers taking “double salaries” under the Mahama administration and what the CID of the Ghana Police has put in place to investigate it on the instructions of Akufo-Addo.

Sharp reaction to rebut such claims have come from the so-called beneficiaries. Some kind of murkiness has come to attention as a result, especially when we were told that the head of the CID (whose own credibility has long been shattered in previous instances of corruption that ended up being brushed under rug for her to be elevated) had withdrawn the accusation.

The matter seems to be defying commonsense, especially, given the new twist as reported. (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Double-salary-allegation-CID-to-probe-Haruna-8-others-642824).

We won’t go the whole hog on this approach by the CID. We want to raise a few questions, though:

  1. Does our 1992 Constitution prescribe that two-thirds of Ministers of State must come from Parliament?
  2. Does that provision acknowledge the fact that the MP’s earn salaries payable from the Consolidated Fund because of their designation as part of the Legislative arm of government?
  3. If it does, what does it say in terms of an MP uplifted to head a Ministry (seen as part of the Executive arm of government), given the fact that a Minister of State is entitled to emoluments payable from the Contingent Fund?
  4. Does our Constitution provide for such dual designations in terms of emoluments? If it doesn’t should it be the burden on the beneficiary to prove right or wrong, criminal or non-criminal?
  5. What does the Constitution say about the emoluments of those who are not MP’s but are appointed as Ministers/Deputy Ministers of state in terms of emolument? That their salary and other benefits should derive from the Consolidated Fund?
  6. If so, what does the Constitution specify about the combined or dual functions of an MP and a Minister of state in terms of emolument?
  7. Do the beneficiaries of such a double-edged emolument have any control over what is to be paid them or not? If not, why should they become the bull’s eye for the archers in the Akufo-Addo administration?
  8. If the beneficiaries have no means to determine what should be paid them for what they are (playing the dual and simultaneous role as members of the Legislature and Executive), why should they become the targets for the CID?
  9. Having not influenced where their bread should be buttered, why should they be considered and framed as “criminals” in terms of the payment of salaries to them both as MP’s and Ministers for which Team Akufo-Addo is gearing up to harass them as if they were petty thieves?
  10. The moves by the CID on this score leave much room for serious concern. Why haven’t previous instances been visited? I mean, under Rawlings, Kufuor, and Mills when the very conundrum existed?

Under Rawlings, MP’s were made Ministers; Kufuor did same; Atta Mills followed suit just as Mahama did.

So, why won’t anybody in any position of trust think beyond the surface to broaden the scope, contrary to what we are beginning to see under Akufo-Addo?

It should be heart-warming for us to know whether when Kufuor appointed MP Akufo-Addo to take charge of the Ministry of Justice/Attorney-General’s Department and switched to the Foreign Ministry he took “double salaries”. If he didn’t, why? How about other MP’s in that government who were appointed to the Ministries?

Folks, we have raised these contentious issues to prove that the dirty politics being done by this despicable and super-incompetent Akufo-Addo administration isn’t the input that will grow Ghana’s democracy. it is cancerous.

On a regional scale, we can say that what is emerging now is a constitutional issue that must be addressed as it is as long as it is clear that the various Mahama appointees being fingered for Akufo-Addo’s kind of retributive justice didn’t breathe any hot air over anybody’s shoulder to pay them double salaries as MP’s and Ministers of State.

Clear-minded people will dig into the Constitutional provision regarding the appointment of MP’s into the Executive arm of government and what their conditions of service (murky as it may be) are.

In truth, the fault lies in our constitution, not the beneficiaries of whatever largesse there may be. This is where those in the NPP administration should focus. What is being paid those MP’s that Akufo-Addo has given Ministerial appointments?

Is anybody thinking right in this super-duper incompetent Akufo-Addo government at all?

Is there any right-thinking person to go to court on the basis of the Constitutional flaw or inadequacies engendering this needless tension? I wish someone would rise up. Were I to be in Ghana, I would do so. In any case, those on whose head the cap is being placed should know what is at stake and act conscientiously.

I expect the NDC elements to rise up to the occasion as such. Aren’t there lawyers among them? They appear to be docile, if not lost in the scheme of things. Rushing to the media won’t solve their problem, especially when they end up being constructed as self-incriminating rogues that they are not and shouldn’t be if they want to remain as the face of the NDC after the devastating 2016 general elections that put them where they are now and will be unless they think and act rightly.

There is too much ignorance and political trickery, chicanery, and treachery going on, which endangers our democracy. Time to stop it.

The 1992 Constitution should be interrogated in terms of the issue that the Akufo-Addo government is now raising hell and brimstone over as if those that the CID are chasing after have the clout to determine their emolument as MP’s and Ministers of state. Too much nonsense going on for misguided political purposes. We shouldn’t tolerate it.

I recall what Atta Mills began with the Constitutional Review Commission that the NPP damned and did all it could to frustrate efforts at amending it for Ghana’s good. Had reason prevailed over empty political gimmicks, we might be doing better.

No doubt that the very Constitution that the Danquah-Busia clannish “Don Quixotes” boycotted the Constituent Assembly that drafted it is now their point of call. Their bastion of legal authority in their desperate attempts at ditching the NDC camp.

And they are no more talking about or interested in the repeal of the “Transitional Provisions” that they had loudly claimed to be saving the Rawlingses. Such hypocrites and cowards!!

In the end, they come across as confused braggarts whose darts won’t hit any target. Where is Robin Hood to teach them the lessons in political archery? In the end, though, the NDC camp has to do better by poking them in the rib, where it hurts most, politically. My take; what about your, folks?

I shall return…

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

Friday, April 13, 2018

 

 

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