Togbe Afede XIV, the Paramount Chief and the Agbogbomefia of Asogli, says due to his abhorrence for payment of huge ex gratia, he returned over Â¢365,000 paid to him for serving on the Council of State.
According to him, he is unable to grasp the rationale behind paying large amounts of money to individuals who have decided to offer their services to the country and are being paid for their input.
â€œ….I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it.â€
In view of this logic, he secured the appropriate channels to refund the money paid into his account in July 2021 after making the necessary confirmation.
â€œI applied for and received a statement from my bankers that confirmed that indeed some
money was paid into my account. I eventually confirmed from the Council of State Secretariat that the sum of GHC365,392.67 was paid into my account as Ex Gratia.
In a press statement dated June 6, the Paramount Chief and the Agbogbomefia of Asogli revealed that on March 4, 2022, he refunded the money into the Controller & Accountant Generalâ€™s Department Suspense Account at the Bank of Ghana.
Togbe Afede XIV also clarified that the ex gratia paid into his account was not meant to compromise him as is being alleged.
â€œI did not think the payment was made to trap me, as is being speculated. I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State.â€
Togbe Afede XIV served on the Council between 2017 and 2020. During this period, he served as Chairman of the Economy and Special Development Initiatives Committee. He was also part of two other committees.
What the law says about ex-gratia
Article114 of the 1992 Constitution provides that:
(1) A person who has served as a Member of Parliament for a period of not less than four years shall be eligible, on ceasing to be a member or on his death, for the payment of such gratuity to him or his personal representatives, as the case may be, as shall be determined by the President, acting in consultation with the Committee referred to in article 71 of this Constitution.
(2) For the purpose of clause (1) of this article, the period of four years specified in that clause
shall be interpreted to mean four continuous years, and accordingly, any period when the member is out of office as a member, otherwise than by dissolution of Parliament, shall not be taken into account.â€
In spite of the fact that Togbe Afede XIV might have been eligible for an ex-gratia, he made the decision on his own accord not to accept any of them. An action that has garnered him praise from a lot of people.
Source: The Independent Ghana