Majority Leader Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu says immediate-past President, John Mahama caused Parliament to reverse its decision to pay him a monthly rent allowance upon retirement.
The Suame MP who leads the NPP MPs in Parliament said President Mahama pleaded that Parliament gave him a permanent accommodation after he hands over.
There is a brouhaha over the accommodation of the ex-President following the handing over of power last Saturday, January 7, 2017.
A Presidential Emoluments committee Mahama formed before handing over, had recommended that the exiting president be paid 40% of his salary as rent allowance.
But after Parliament accepted this recommendation, President John Mahama caused fresh changes in the recommendation which was later brought back to parliament.
“We gathered that the president has made some entreaties to elderly statesmen in the country to intervene to have an official residence,” the Majority leader revealed.
In the new recommendations, the President is to be given a permanent place of abode after leaving office.
‘Don’t forget the NPP was still in the Minority” Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu said as Parliament approved this recommendation.
With the new recommendation accepted, there is another controversy over which House the President can retire in.
The President is currently living in his Cantonment House which he used as his official residence whilst Vice-President and later President.
But some lawyers are up-in-arms insisting that his continuous stay there is in breach of the Presidential Transition Act, especially Section 10.
“Vacation of official residence
10. (1) The incumbent President and the incumbent Vice-President shall each vacate the official residences before the day of the swearing-in. of the person elected as President. and. if either of them so desires move into an alternate official residence.
(2) Any other person who ceases to hold office on the assumption of office of the person elected as President and is in occupation of an official residence shall vacate the residence within three months after that assumption of office.”
Lawyers Yaw Oppong of the Central University and Ace Ankomah, a leader of pressure group OccupyGhana are in agreement that the President should have vacated his home before the inauguration of the new government as stated in the law.
They are convinced that the Transition Act does not allow the President to request for the use of his official residence as his permanent home upon retirement.
He could ask for another property but not the Cantonment residence, they stressed.
The Majority leader Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu agrees that Mahama ought to vacate his official residence and later put in a request for a House.
Ace Ankomah said he was ‘terribly’ disappointed that people in positions of power cannot obey the law.