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 (NDC) 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 stated that the Auditor should also verify the source of refunded money.
He stressed that the country must ascertain if the monies paid to the presidential spouses since 2017 were spent or is 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 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 government indicated that Parliament has 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-centred woman” who is insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Office of the First Lady, Mrs Akufo-Addo indicated that her decision to refuse the offer is a personal one “without prejudice to the rights of others and does not undermine the propriety of the process undertaken by Parliament.”
Following suit, the wife of the Vice President, Samira Bawumia, says she will refund all allowances paid to her since the inception of the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
She is expected to refund a total of ¢887,482 to the state following this decision.