A Fast Track High Court has thrown out a motion seeking a stay of execution on an earlier judgement by the trial court in which the State was ordered to pay Mr. Edward Dua Agyeman, former Auditor General all entitlements due him.
These included gratuity and pension, in accordance with recommendations of the report on a review of facilities and privileges under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution.
The court ruled that the State was to pay a monthly pension equivalent to his salary as adjusted from time-to-time in accordance with the salary of the Auditor General at post or that of the Justice of the Court of Appeal.
The orders came after Mr. Agyeman had gone to court over non-payment of his entitlement since 2010, despite several appeals to government.
Obviously dissatisfied with the judgement, the State (defendant in the matter) went ahead to the Trial Court with an application, asking the court to temporarily suspend the execution of judgement on the grounds that “if the judgement of the court is not stayed and the Plaintiff/Respondent (Mr. Dua Agyemang) goes into execution, there is the real likelihood that he will be unable to refund the money to the Defendant/Applicant in the event of the appeal succeeding”.
The State further argued that “the Defendant/Applicant has even paid the Plaintiff/Respondent Gratuity for 3 months of each year served far in excess of the 2 months awarded by the Court. Annexed and marked “AG2” are evidence of payment”.
According to the State there is no guarantee that the Plaintiff/Respondent can make good the judgement sum if the same is paid to him.
But dismissing the application, Justice Uuter Paul Dery stated that “the applicant has not demonstrated in anyway the chances of its success on appeal for the inability of the plaintiff to refund the money if the appeal succeeds”.
Against this background, Justice Dery explained that he was incapable of exercising any discretion in favour of the State, therefore awarding cost of GH˘600 to Mr. Agyemang.
In his statement of claim, Mr Agyeman stated that from January 30, 2003 to May 19, 2010, he was the substantive Auditor General of Ghana.
He averred that by a letter from the Presidency, his appointment as the substantive Auditor General in January 2003 indicated that other terms and conditions of his appointment would be communicated to him in due course.
Mr Agyeman said a letter dated on May, 2003, signed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, attached the details of the terms and conditions, indicating that the gratuity and pension would be determined by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State.
He said on May 19, 2010, when he was retiring, he made several requests for the payment of his gratuity and pension as stated in the letter.
He said surprisingly, Dr Valarie Sawyerr, the Deputy Chief of Staff by a letter dated on October 18, 2010, informed him of government’s non-payment of retirement benefits as stated in accordance with Article 71 (1) of the 1092 Constitution, stating that he (plaintiff) was a political appointee.
Mr Agyeman said he made several requests to government for reconsideration of the view but all fell on deaf ears.
He contended that the position of Auditor General was not a “political appointee” since the Auditor Service formed part of the Public Service of Ghana, and the office of the Auditor General was also a public office.
Source: New Crusading Guide/Ghana
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