A governance expert, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, says the brouhaha over former President John Mahama’s official residence may have been fuelled by the request to keep it.
The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) says the former President’s request to the new administration’s transition team was tantamount to a deliberate effort to break the Transition Act of 2016.
The Act directs that the President and his Vice vacate their official residences before a new government takes office.
However, ex-President John Mahama in December wrote to the transition team of the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government requesting to keep his official residence at Bungalow No. 3, Prestige Link, Cantonments, Accra and its adjoining facilities as his ex gratia.
Former President Mahama had been occupying the bungalows since his days as vice president.
The transition team of the new administration admits receiving the request from John Mahama, but says no agreement was reached for the former president to keep his official bungalows.
Dr Osae, who was one of three panels that discussed the matter on PM Express on Monday evening, said the request breaches the law.
He said although the former President is entitled to accommodation by right, the law explicitly requires him to vacate the building first.
“The precondition [for getting a new bungalow] is that ‘move out and make the facility available to the incoming government’. So I think it is legally wrong [to request to keep the bungalow]. But let’s see how the new administration responds to it.
“..if you ask that you want to buy or you want live in the one that you have occupied since your days as Vice President then you are just telling [the state] to set aside the law,” he said.
A Law Lecturer at the Central University College, Yaw Oppong, who was also on the current affairs programme, said the new administration had no capacity to honour former President Mahama’s request.
“What was the capacity of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) transition team to have even agreed with you [ex-President Mahama]? They had no such capacity, they were not in government,” he told show host, Nana Ansah Kwao IV.
Meanwhile, an Accounting Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, has also surmised that “the ex-President is occupying that official residence unlawfully.
Watch the full episode of Monday’s discussion on PM Express in the video below.