Lawyer heads to Supreme Court over ex-gratia payments

A Ghanaian lawyer, Elikplim L. Agbemava, has commenced an action at the Supreme Court seeking clarification on some of the benefits enjoyed by Article 71 office holders as well as other public servants in that category.

Elikplim L. Agbemava also wants presidential staffers who benefit from salaries, allowances, and privileges almost like an Article 71 office holders, to be stripped off such gratuities claiming it “is inconsistent with Article 71 and therefore unconstitutional.”

Lawyer Agbemava among his reliefs want to also find out why Article 71 office holders as well as Members of Parliament, are exempted from contributing to the  Tier 1 basic national social security scheme operated and managed by the social security and national insurance trust.

According to him, such act is “contrary to the National Pensions Act, 2008 as amended, and Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution” adding that because MPs enjoy ex-gratia from the state, it does not encourage them to contribute to the social security scheme.

“A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 17, 98 (1), and 71 of the 1992 constitution the approval by the President (on the recommendation of the Committee set up under Article 71) for the enjoyment of retiring benefits or awards by Member of Parliament on the basis of a model that does not oblige Members of Parliament to contribute to any pension insurance scheme, during their years of service in Parliament before drawing on public funds for the payment of their pension is discriminatory against all other public sector workers employees in Ghana, unfair, unconscionable and contrary to Article 17 of the constitution and therefore unconstitutional,” Mr. Agbemava stated in his writ.

The lawyer in his reliefs is also seeking “a declaration that on true and proper interpretation of Articles 98(1), 95 (6), 44 (2) and (3), 155 (1), 68 (4), 194 (5), 187 (14), 199, 203 (3)(c), 208 (3) (c), 233 (1) and 71 of the 1992 constitution, gratuity and pension is payable under the 1992 constitution after a full and final retirement of a public servant from public service and not intermittently while he/she is still in public service.”

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