SC Dismisses MPs Double Salary Case


The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a writ filed by the Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Baffoe aka Abronye DC against some current and former Members of Parliament who allegedly took double salaries under the John Dramani Mahama administration.

A seven-member panel of the court presided over by Justice Nene Amegatcher, dismissed the writ which was seeking the interpretation of Articles 78 and 98 of the 1992 Constitution on grounds that it lacked merit and did not raise any issues of ambiguity.

Abronye DC in a writ before the apex court argues that the ministers and deputy ministers who were serving MPs at the time, drew double salaries in contravention of Article 98 of the 1992 Constitution.

He was seeking among others, an order of the court on the MPs to refund the double salaries into the Consolidated Fund.

Prior to the hearing of the substantive matter, the Attorney General filed an application raising a preliminary objection questioning the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to hear the matter.

Moving the motion, Reginald Nii Odoi, an Assistant State Attorney argued that the reliefs being sought by the plaintiff in the writ do not raise any issues of interpretation or of enforcement.

He said there are other avenues that the plaintiff can resort to in addressing the issues raised in his writ.

He further argued that the original jurisdiction of the court had not been properly invoked and therefore, urged the court to strike the case out.

Seth Gyapong Oware, counsel for Abronye DC, on the other hand insisted that the original jurisdiction of the court was properly invoked. He, however, later took a cue from the panel that he was not in the proper forum and that there was no ambiguity in the Articles he was complaining of.

A seven-member panel of the court, presided over by Justice Nene Amegatcher and assisted by Justices Nii Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Amadu Tanko, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, and Yonny Kulendi, in a unanimous decision upheld the AG’s objection that its jurisdiction was not properly invoked.

Th court said Articles 78 and 98 relied on by the plaintiff do not require any interpretation, adding that the writ had no merit or whatsoever and, therefore, struck it out.

The court said it would have awarded cost against the plaintiff if not for precedents in other cases and the need to not discourage other Ghanaians from filing constitutional matters before the court.

It, however, was of the view that lawyers ought to be professional and review cases properly first before appearing before the Supreme Court.

The court earlier dismissed an application by counsel for Abronye DC which was seeking an extension of time to file his response to the Attorney General’s preliminary objection.

The former ministers and deputy ministers sued for drawing double salaries include Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, former Minister of Communication; Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, former Petroleum Minister and MP for Ellembelle; Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, former Sports Minister and MP for Odododiodoo; Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, former Deputy Minister of Finance and MP for Ketu South; and Alhassan Azong.

The rest are Eric Opoku, Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Mark Owen Woyongo, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah, and Aquinas Tawiah Quansah.

Abronye DC went to the Supreme Court to challenge the defendants for withdrawing salaries as MPs and another as ministers or deputy ministers.

The writ was seeking an order of the court directing the MPs, former ministers and deputy ministers to refund the double salaries they received between 2009 and 2016.


BY Gibril Abdul Razak