Days After Pocketing GH¢105, 35.72 Rent Allowance While In State Bungalow
More rot continue to emerge from Parliament, on how the second most powerful arm of the state, is being reckless with the public purse in the midst of less checks and balances.
The latest information available to The Herald is that, the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, is incessantly demanding a car loan of US$100,000 from the state, despite having several cars at his disposal for his official duties as the third most powerful man in the country.
He wants the highest spec Toyota Land Cruiser to be purchased for him by Parliament as a car loan.
This revelations comes amid other disclosures that, he pocketed a whopping GH¢105, 35.72 as rent allowance, despite moving into his official bungalow at Cantonments, where his predecessor Edward Doe Adzaho lived.
The Herald’s information is that, Prof. Ocquaye, has since September, last year been living in his official bungalow.
It is therefore untrue as per Kweku Baako’s claim on Joy FM’s newfile last Saturday that, the Speaker, was yet to move into the bungalow, but has only been carrying out some official duties there.
Meanwhile, the car loan demand from Prof. Ocquaye, has thrown the leadership of the House into a state of shock, with both the Majority and the Minority leadership, refusing him the demand, saying this will constitute an abuse of scarce resources.
The administrative staff of the House, are equally livid over the Speaker Ocquaye’s demand, saying he has gone too far.
He is reported to have written last year, to the Clerk of Parliament and copied the Minority and the Majority leaderships of the House, demanding a car loan as given to the Members of Parliament (MP).
The Minority and Majority leaders had grabbed US$100,000 dollars, as their shares of the MPs car loans, and Speaker also wants to be given, although he is entitled to take home some of his official cars when his tenure is over.
The Herald is informed that, the former Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, has several vehicles including saloon and SUVs provided him by the state, hence has no need for another car especially on a car loan basis.
The rebuff from both the leadership of Parliament and the administrative staff of the House, this paper is informed, has not sat down well with Mr. Ocquaye, and till date, he is still demanding the car loan.
Additional information on the Speaker’s official bungalow available to The Herald is that, Edward Doe Adzaho, who lived in the facility was paid a rent allowance, but he felt the payment was inappropriate and he quickly wrote a cheque to the Clerk of Parliament to cover the amount paid him.
However in the case of Mr. Ocquaye, who is a reverend minister of the Presbyterian Church, he pocketed the money, and has since September, last year, been living in the bungalow.
The Herald, on Wednesday reported that it was reliably informed that, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s 110 ministers, are illegally collecting rent allowances from Parliament, although they have been allocated state bungalows as ministers of state.
Details are that, a good number of the 70 MPs, who double as Ministers, are secretly enjoying packages that come with being Legislators, and at the same time dishonestly enjoying the ones from the Executive, when in actual fact, they are entitled to only one.
These MPs this paper is informed, have each pocketed 20 per cent of their salaries as allowance for their accommodation, and shortly thereafter, moved into state bungalows as Ministers in the Akufo-Addo government. They each collected a whopping GH¢90, 000 in March 2017, from the coffers of Parliament.
They were expected to honorably return the GH¢90, 000 rent allowance to Parliament, after becoming ministers, but this was not done.
The list of MPs intercepted by this paper, reveals names of bigwigs of the government. They are OseiKyei Mensah Bonsu, Minister of Communications, Ursula Gifty Owusu-Ekuful; Dominic Nitiwul and a Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, KojoOppong-Nkrumah, Deputy Information Minister.
The rest are; Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako Attah; Dan Kwaku Botwe and Special Development Initiative Minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson.
This brings to mind, the spirited arguments that were raised last year, when the president lined-up 110 ministers, the biggest in the history of Ghana with respect to expenditure. At the time, the government and it communicators, defended President Akufo-Addo’s decision, saying not much would be spent, because MPs who were appointed as Ministers, were going to take only one salary and allowance from either Parliament or from the executive.
This also brings to question, the integrity of these appointees, as well as dishonesty on the part of this government, which is accusing some former ministers of the erstwhile Mahama government of receiving double salaries.
The Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID), has been mandated to charge and probe the ex-Ministers. Some of them have been granted bail in the case they believe is a political witch-hunt by the under pressure Akufo-Addo government.
More to Come!