Minority Caucus in Parliament has threatened to sue the Director of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaah Addo Danquah, for alleging that 25 former ministers cum Members of Parliament (MPs) received double salaries while in office.
According to the minority, last week twenty-five (25) of them received strange letters and phone calls from the CID boss, inviting them to confer with DCOP Mrs Addo-Danquah, and also to assist in investigations of allegations of double salaries made against them by government.
Addressing the media at a press conference held at the Administration Block of Parliament House yesterday in Accra, Minority Spokesperson on Finance and MP for Ajumako-Eyian-Essiam Constituency in the Central Region, Mr Ato Fiifi Forson, hinted that the affected people in the alleged double salaries scandal will sue the CID boss for what they described as defamation of character.
He explained that “last week, twenty-five of us received strange letters and phone calls from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service inviting us to confer with Mrs M.Y.T. Addo-Danquah, Deputy Commissioner of Police, and to assist in investigations of allegations of double salaries made against us by government.”
“However, in a bizarre twist, as we were readying to appear before the CID this week beginning from yesterday considering that we had been grouped to appear on separate days, the CID boss called some of our colleagues to inform them that they were no longer required to appear as they had made mistakes with 18 of the 25 minority MPs originally contacted,” he noted.
Mr Forson stated emphatically that as many as 18 of the 25 invitations have since been withdrawn on the basis of mistakes committed by the government through a phone call.
He insisted that with the kind of attitude and gestures portrayed by the CID there was something that “we in the minority want to promise the good people of Ghana that we will not let the matter go unnoticed.”
“It is sad that the hitherto respected and highly professional CID is being forced by excessive political maneuvering and underhand tactics to make that noble organisation blunder and lose its credibility,” he said.
Following this embarrassment to government, he alleged that government now has resorted to the arena of propaganda.
“Our attention has been drawn to a publication in yesterday’s Daily Guide newspaper alleging that some 22 Article 71 appointees of the erstwhile Mahama administration were overpaid whilst serving as ministers, deputy ministers and MPs,” he indicated.
According to him, the said publication could only be a figment of the imagination of a government that continues to betray the trust of the people.
“We must state for the records that contrary to the claims by the Daily Guide, no appointee has offered to make refunds of double salaries. We challenge the Daily Guide to adduce evidence of their claims. We also find it curious that the Daily Guide was unable to produce the full list of the alleged 22 appointees,” he averred.
Mr Forson further explained that as a matter of practice and convention, Article 71 office holders including MPs, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers “are always paid on account awaiting the establishment and finalisation of the work of the Presidential Emoluments Committee. This is currently what pertains even in the life of this 7th Parliament and with all current Ministers of State.”
According to him, in the case of the Mahama led-administration the Presidential Emoluments Committee did not complete its work until November 2016.
This, he said, meant in effect that all payments made to all Article 71 office holders, including MPs, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State were only payments made in advance of the determination of the actual salaries payable and conditions of service due these office holders.
“In consequence, upon the completion of the work of the Presidential Emoluments Committee in November 2016, the then Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, issued a release to the Controller and Accountant General Department and to the Accounts Department of the of an exiting administration,” Mr Forson said.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: email@example.com