The Minority Group in Ghana’s Parliament has called on the Office of the Auditor General to audit the accounts of the First Lady, Rebecca Akuffo-Addo and the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, following their decision to refund all the allowances they have received since January 2017, back to Government chest.
Their decision to reject the allowance is as the result of public outcry over the approval of a salary structure equivalent to a Cabinet Minister for the First and Second Ladies as captured in the latest Presidential Emoluments for Article 71 Office Holders.
A copy of a letter circulating on social media purported to be coming from the Office of the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, indicates that the First Lady has issued a cheque of GHC 899,097.84 to the Office of the President, “being the full refund for monies received from 7th January 2017 to date as allowances given to her Excellency the First Lady of the Republic.”
According to the Minority Group, the call for the audit is necessary to ascertain whether the money the office of the First Lady claims to have refunded to Government chest, is not coming from another government institution since her Office is a beneficiary of funds from other government agencies.
Addressing the media in Parliament on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, the Deputy Minority Leader and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, James Klutse Avedzi, said “ we are calling on the Auditor General to go into the accounts of the First Lady and the Second Lady; first of all, to ascertain whether the money she refunded is actually the money she received. That is number one.
“Two, also to compute the interest that money would accrue if that money was put into any interest-bearing account. So that the interest on that money would be refunded. Third, to ascertain whether there is sufficient money in the account, so that the cheque she has issued will not bounce.
“The fourth one is, If she is now refunding the money, it means that she is not interested in any state fund and for that matter all state funding of her NGO should also be audited by the Auditor General and then all those monies should also be refunded to the state because she is not interested in receiving state support.”
Mr. Klutse Avedzi said, since she has shown that she doesn’t need the state funds, she should as well refund any other state funds which has been advanced to her and her foundation through any other state agencies such as GNPC among others.
“We welcome the refund of the money, but we need to ascertain whether that money is actually what she received. We need to ascertain what interest has accrued on the money so that she must also refund same. Also, we need to call on the Auditor General to audit the account of the First Lady in order to ascertain that the cheque she gave would not bounce.”
Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com