The Member of Parliament for Sagnarigu has dismissed claims that some NDC MPs were paid double salaries when they were appointed as ministers of state.
According to him, ministers were paid allowances instead of salaries; thus, there could not have been any instance where ministerial appointees received double salaries.
Speaking to JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker Wilson, he stated that the allegation is a ruse the NPP had sought to stick on the NDC in their bid to fight corruption early on when they came to power.
“No appointee of John Mahama who was also an MP was paid a salary. Members who are part of Article 71 officeholders were just paid on account. People were paid allowances instead of the payment of a salary to them. Nobody was paid a salary for anybody to even talk about double salary being paid. So, it is a red herring.”
“This tells you clearly that they are led by political motives to find something to stick against President Mahama and his government on issues of corruption which they were not getting. I find that to be absolutely contradictory to the attempt to fight corruption when they failed woefully to find anything to stick on the NDC,” he said.
His comment comes after Martin Amidu alleged that President Akufo-Addo and his government had leveraged the Double Salary Scandal and other criminal cases in which some NDC members were complicit to compel them to approve his ministerial appointments.
In his latest epistle, he stated that President Akufo-Addo instructed the then-Attorney General, Gloria Akufo, not to file charges against Parliamentarians found to have received double salaries.
According to him, claims that he failed to deal with the matter that has resulted in the non-prosecution of the MPs is untrue.
However, Mr Fuseini stated that as per the Public Financial Management Act, in cases where appointees might be paid allowances in excess, whoever makes the payment has a duty to alert the ministers of the error.
He stated that after the alert, steps will be taken to retrieve the monies paid in excess, but none of the appointees were given such notice.
“It is never a criminal act that anybody could have pursued. Why is this thing graduating into a level of crime when even nobody was even alerted? This particular thing they are talking about happened under President Kufuor, the Majority Leader suffered a similar thing, the outgone Speaker his name was also brought in, so why is it an NDC matter?”
Double Salary saga
It emerged in 2018 that some MPs who served as Ministers in the Mahama administration, allegedly received double salaries.
An audit report of the payroll data revealed some legislators, including Ellembelle MP, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, and former Kpone Katamanso MP, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, received double salary.
The former Tamale Central MP, Inusah Fuseini; Ada MP, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah and former Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Eric Opoku, were among those accused and were to appear before the police for prosecution.
The police said the alleged action by the MPs “is contrary to Section 124 (1) of the Criminal and other Offences Act 1960 (Act 29), as amended in 2012, Act 849. Section 124 relates to the offence of stealing”.
Media reports revealed that many Ministers, who served under former President John Mahama, took double salaries for four years, while others received double salaries for two and three years, probably because they were reshuffled.
In 2012, four of the Ministers took double salaries and are currently not serving in Parliament, but by 2013 the double-salaried appointees had increased to 22, while in 2014, about 18 were said to be involved
In 2015 and 2016, 15 and 12 appointees took double salaries, respectively.
From 2012 to 2016, when the NDC was in office, some of the appointees were captured in all the data collated as having received double salaries.
The list showed that the appointees received double salaries at least once a month, while others received them monthly throughout the years.
Initially, 25 NDC MPs were said to have been invited by the CID, but the then-Minority in Parliament held a press conference to debunk the allegation.