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General News of Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Police probe into double salary saga needless – Kwamena Ahwoi

A member of the Presidential Committee on Emoluments under the Fourth Republic, Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, has appealed to President Akufo-Addo to cause the police to cease ongoing investigations into the alleged double salary saga.

Professor Kwabena Ahwoi, who is also leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), believes the occurrence is purely an employer-employee relationship that must be dealt with on that level.

Some seven former NDC government officials who allegedly received double salaries as Members of Parliament whiles serving as Ministers of State, are being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for alleged stealing.

Professor Ahwoi, who has already written to President Akufo Addo on the matter told Citi News that there is the urgent need for the President to set up a Committee to look into the matter instead of the police. Prof. Ahwoi said the current issue has nothing to do with the police because “This is a matter of employer and employee relationship.”

“The employer is Government of Ghana and the employees are article 71 officeholders. The employer has overpaid the employees through no fault of the employees. The employer must determine that there has been an over-payment and how much it is. Once he does that he asks the employee to refund the over-payment. Where does the police come into this? When the police investigate they are investigating with the view to prosecuting for a criminal offense. That is why I said he must halt the police criminal investigation.”

He further advised government to set up a task-force to look into the issues “case by case”, and try to investigate whether there was actually an overpayment or underpayment and by how much.

“When they have made that determination, then if there is an over-payment the person must be asked to refund. Maybe the person might have spent the money so you agree on terms that he should refund it over a period. If there has been an underpayment, the government should pay what is due to the person. Then the matter ends,” he added.

‘Double salaries’ probe, not a witch hunt – Majority Leader

Following complaints by the Minority MPs that the current double salary probe is a form of witch hunt, the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, rejected such claims saying government has no plan to taint its political opponents, but that the gravity of the payment irregularities require a proper probe to forestall future occurrences.



“I am part of the government. I don’t know of any government scheme to accuse members of the NDC [National Democratic Congress]. As far as I am concerned, and I keep insisting, it is something that should concern the entire nation,” he said.