Private Legal Practitioner Martin Kpebu has said that people must be blunt in calling public officials, present and past who are seeking to return to the office, to order and ask them to render accountability relative to the fight against corruption and not just talk law.
Mr Kpebu, while justifying his call for Former President John Dramani Mahama to return the ex gratia that was paid to him following his promise to cancel the payment, said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, March 4 that “If we don’t speak plainly and we just want to say law and ask where is the evidence, we will never make progress because corruption is not done openly.
“If it were just the little 10 percent that Kwame Nkrumah’s time used to happen in Ghana we would not have had this problem but the corruption that was in Kwame Nkrumah’s time has more than quadrupled now, and that is where the problem is.
“When I say 10 percent, in Kwame Nkrumah’s time they used to collect 10 percent from the contractors and put it in a fund and they were using it to build schools. So in our history, Kwame Nkrumah’s time, they used to take 10 percent from the contractors and use it for projects. Fast forward, now, the 10 percent is collected and people put it in their pockets and enjoy. So the point I am making is that , you know Dan Kwaku Yeboah of Peace FM, I think he is the lead campaigner for Mr Mahama to return his ex gratia.
“When I looked at it I said yes it made sense. Mr Mahama should do introspection and return it as a sign of good faith, that once I have returned the money I am committed. Number two, the amendment he should put into writings.”
Mr Kpebu further accused Mr Maham of making money as President therefore the ex gratia payment is even small.
“Mahama made money whiles as president so he should look within himself and say look ‘I will return it’. He should return it because, in these national elections, they are going to do, hundreds of millions of dollars, where does it come from? They made money so the exgratia is small. So he should just tell the people ‘I have grown older, I think I have become wiser, I am returning the money,’ That exgratia he should return it”
Mr Mahama who was unhappy with Kpebu’s comments described the utterances of the legal practitioner as silly.
Addressing supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta region on Saturday, March 4, Mr Mahama said “I said categorically that when we come into office we will cancel ex gratia for the executives because the president is in charge of the executive, so he can cancel it for the executives but then you have to persuade the other arms of government to see that there is no fairness in continuing to pay ourselves ex gratia when the ordinary worker does not receive it because you are the leaders, you must show by example.
“If the economy is in crisis why should we continue to take ex gratia when the rest of the public and civil services don’t take it? So, I said categorically that we will cancel exgratia.
“And then somebody who should know better, a lawyer, he said, then I should refund all the ex gratia we took before to show Ghanaians that yes, we are serious about cancelling it, he does not even know the principle in our constitution that says that you can’t pass retroactive legislative if you pass legislative today, it does not affect what happened in the past, what he says is a bit silly because it is like saying because we have introduced free SHS all of us should go and get a refund of our school fees that we paid in the past. That is how silly what he is saying is.”
Mr Mahama had promised l scrap ex toratia when he gets the nod to lead this country again.
“The payment of ex gratia to members of the executive will be scrapped,” Mr Dramani Mahama announced when he launched his bid to be the 2024 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“The necessary constitutional steps to take this will start in earnest in 2025. We will also persuade members of the other arms of government to accept its removal,” he assured.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana