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OCCUPYGHANA® On Emoluments And Benefits Of Article 71 Office Holders
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OccupyGhana® followed the debate on the request or demand by the Office of President John Mahama, the immediate past president, with respect to the twin-bungalow government property at Number 3 Prestige Link, Cantonments, Accra as part of his end-of-service benefits, in addition to a third building at Bungalow 6, 3rd Avenue, Ridge, Accra to be used as an office.

We were concerned about claims from the office of the former President that there was a concluded agreement between itself and the then-incoming government. That would have been an illegal agreement since an incoming government would have had no power to bind the nation to any agreement.

Thus, any purported ‘pre-inauguration agreement’ would have required the express ratification of the new government when finally inaugurated. We were therefore waiting to see whether the new government would ratify the alleged agreement or reject the request, as the case may be.

We have also seen a copy of what purports to be a letter from President John Mahama, withdrawing the request, claim or demand.

We were also concerned that the continued occupation of Number 3 Prestige Link by President John Mahama flew directly in the face of section 10 of the Presidential (Transition) Act. We note that this Act was specifically enacted by Parliament and signed into law by President John Mahama, to among others, compel retiring Presidents and Vice-Presidents to vacate all official premises BEFORE power changes hands.

It is instructive to note that while a 2016 amendment of the Act gave other government appointees up to three (3) months to vacate official premises both a President and Vice-President have no such ‘grace period.’

Given that some arrangements had apparently been approved by Parliament, we remained optimistic, based on the assurances by at least three government appointees to the effect that no such agreement existed between the outgoing and new governments with respect to this specific house, that the supreme interest of the people of Ghana was going to be safeguarded in all of this.

Thus we expected that when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced an official decision on the matter, that decision would confirm the said assurances and be in line with the highest principles of the Ghanaian taxpayer's best interest.

As things turned out, the President did not have to convey a formal decision. The former President has withdrawn the request.

But that should not be the end of the matter. Above and beyond the issue relating to that specific demand, we are disturbed by the perennial nature of the issue of Article 71 emoluments and benefits.

The usual angst and concern expressed by the good people of Ghana every time the issue comes up is indicative of a certain deficiency or deliberate error in the interpretation and application of the Constitutional arrangement by successive Parliaments and Presidents.

These need to be addressed comprehensively and conclusively. In agreeing to the Article 71 arrangements, the people of Ghana assumed that reasonable Parliaments and Presidents would act primarily in the best interest of the citizenry as fiduciaries.

It is sad that this fiduciary duty is ignored or breached at every transition in a manner that is at best out of touch with the aspirations of the people or, at its worst, in contemptuous disregard of the people.

We therefore urge the new President to holistically examine the relevant provisions and propose to the people of Ghana a solution that best allays the usual anxieties and also, does the needful by outgoing servants of our dear Republic.

Yours, for God and Country,
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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Name: Ojam
John Mahama never gets anything right! He messed our economy so badly. Accumulated debts to unprecedented levels. He kept some positions vacant for many months until the last minute when he made questionable appointments. In those instances his apologists insisted that he was the president and had the right to do it. Now that he is expected to vacate his residence as required by law he has refused, and rather seeking to keep this state property too. What kind of block headed president is this?
Name: Kafui Adzoku
Mr. Mahama shouldn't have made that request at all,he was supposed to have vacated the asset by 6th January,it's greediness.He even signed the new transition Act,and then BREACHED it himself? What a lawless nation!Besides he ought to have known that until after 7th January,per the Act, Nana Addo could not take decisions because he wasn't President during the transitional period.
Name: Great Occupy Ghana!
Occupy Ghana, I just read you statement and that was timely. However some us will like your team to up this whole issue of emoluments and propose some very good solutions to this issue interest of the ordinary Ghanaian. Politicians have take us too long for a ride and this time more of us will speak. So please in the coming days we expect you to take this matter and push it for a better solution. We are fully supporting you guys. for God and Country. Kudos!
Name: Afia
I believe that with all intents and purpose, the outgoing president is to vacate the premises so that the new administration begins work with an official apartment and not to be squatting elsewhere just so to befit the office. I don't see why parliament should change that arrangement by amending section 10 of the Transition Act. Even before elections as in the US it would have been prudent to vacate. They should never assume that they can never lose power.

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