Law students sue A-G over allocation of Common Fund to MPs

Two private citizens have sued the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, over the allocation of a portion of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund to Members of Parliament and Regional Coordinating Councils.

John Ndebugri Awuni and Richard Kwadwo Nyarko, both students at the Faculty of Law of the University of Cape Coast, say the allocation is not consistent with the provisions of Article 252 (1), (2), and (3) of the Constitution.

They are, therefore, seeking a declaration by the Supreme Court “that on a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, 1992, Members of Parliament and Regional Coordinating Councils are not beneficiaries of monies accruing to the District Assemblies Common Fund, which monies shall be distributed among the District Assemblies on the basis of a formula approved by Parliament, and that previous acts and any prospective act of allocating any portions of monies accruing to the District Assemblies Common Fund to Members of Parliament, styled as Members of Parliament Common Fund or ‘M.Ps Common Fund’ and Regional Coordinating Councils, is inconsistent with and sins against the letter and spirit of articles 252 (1), (2), and (3) of the Constitution, 1992.”

Messers Awuni and Nyarko are also seeking an injunction on the distribution of portions of the money to the MPs or Regional Coordinating Councils, until the final determination of the case.

Although the constitution, does not state expressly that allocations from the Fund be made to MPs or Regional Coordinating Councils, the two law students hold that, contrary to what has been the practice of the years, the “distribution of the monies accruing to the District Assemblies on the basis of a formula approved by Parliament did not include and was never within the intendment of the law that Members of Parliament shall be beneficiaries of the formula.”

During the Presentation of the 2017 budget, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta reviewed the allocation of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund and allocated some GHC1.5 billion to the Fund, a figure that even falls short of the mandatory 5% of total government revenue.

The District Assemblies’ Common Fund is a pool of resources created under Article 252 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.

 

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