Returned Ex-gratia: Togbe Afede Deserves Commendation But Silence On Article 71 Problematic- Charles Bissue

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Christopher Agbodo Ranson
Christopher Agbodo Ranson
A Blogger, Journalist and Writer

The former Chair of the Council of State, Togbe Afede XIV could have initiated processes for the review of the payment of gratuity, popularly known as ex-gratia to Article 71 office holders while returning what was paid him by the state. Former Presidential Staffer, Charles Bissue who made this remark says though the traditional overlord deserves commendation for returning his ex-gratia, his inability to explicitly initiate a review of the payment of ex-gratia leaves much to be desired.

According to him, Togbe Afede XIV could have used his influence to suggest and caused an amendment of the legal provision (as stipulated in Article 71 of the 1992 constitution) on the payment of ex-gratia, while returning his. He explained that the return of the money makes little difference when nothing is said or done about the constitutional entitlement of Article 71 holders, especially when there has been a public outcry for a review.

“If he had gone a notch up to state that this law is obsolete and that we should bring it tandem with modern trends, he could have triggered an action. With his positions held, people will look at this with some seriousness,” he said on Metro TV’s Inside Pages show.

Charles Bissue continued that sections of Ghanaians have construed the statement that came with the return of the ex-gratia as a populism. He argued that there are a number of political actors and persons within the Council of State who have extended similar gestures to the state without generating any publicity about it.

He mentioned that a member of the council of state from the Western Region, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah- Hinneh directed the state to use benefits due her to pay for the construction of an edifice for the Nzema Traditional Council in Ampain, a community in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.
“…and yet there wasn’t that publicity given it,” he added.

Togbe Afede’s Reasons For Rejecting the Ex-Gratia
Former Council of State member, Togbe Afede XIV has asserted that he could never have been able to expend the over GH¢365,000 ex-gratia paid to him for serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020. According to him, it is not appropriate to receive the said amount when he already took monthly salaries for serving on the Council.
He said despite the good reason to pay ex-gratia award to Article 71 office holder, the amount to be disbursed should be subjected to analysis with consideration to the current economic hardships in the country.

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