The Minority

The Minority in Parliament has charged the Auditor-General to probe accounts of the First Lady and wife of the Vice President following their decision to refund the spousal emolument paid them since the assumption of the Akufo-Addo government.

The opposition National Democratic Congress legislators also want the Auditor-General to compute interest accrued on the refunded ¢899,097.84 by First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, as well as the GH¢887,482 expected to be reimbursed by the wife of Vice President, Samira Bawumia.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, said that the Auditor-General should also verify the source of the refunded money.

He stressed that the country must ascertain if the monies paid to the presidential spouses since 2017 were spent or are still sitting in their respective accounts without using it.

Asking some questions, Mr Avedzi said: “Since 2017 that she started receiving this salary, does it mean that she doesn’t spend the money and all this while the money was sitting in her account? If yes, that means she didn’t need the money, so why did she take the money in the first place?

“And if that is the case, whilst refunding the money now, you must also compute the interest that the money would have accrued and pay it to the government. So we are calling on the Auditor-General to go into the accounts of the First Lady and the [Wife of the Vice President] to ascertain that the money being refunded is the actual money they received.”

In the last few days, public discussion on whether or not spouses of the President and Vice President should be paid salaries has intensified.

This was after the government indicated that Parliament had approved the report of the Emoluments Committee.

Already, two suits have been filed seeking to halt the payments.

Mrs Akufo-Addo has declined the offer for her to be paid allowances in the quest to set everything at peace.

The First Lady described some of the reactions as distasteful and seeking to portray her as “a venal, self-serving and self-centered woman” who is insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.