The Fourth Estate has filed a Right to Information (RTI) request to the Council of State demanding 17 answers to issues relating to the council that advised President Akufo-Addo in his first term.
The request borders on issues surrounding the revelation by a member of that eminent body, Togbe Afede XIV, that he returned his ex-gratia, that was paid to him.
According to the Paramount Chief to the Asogli State in the Volta Region, who served alongside 23 other members of the Council of State from 2017 to 2020, the payment of GHc365,000 to him as ex-gratia was “unconscionable” and “inappropriate”.
“I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it,” he said in a press statement.
He continued, “I want to add that my rejection of the payment was consistent with my general abhorrence of the payment of huge Ex Gratia and other outrageous benefits to people who have by their own volition offered to serve our poor country.”
The issues that came in the wake of the declaration has prompted The Fourth Estate to file an RTI request to the advisory body.
The following are the specific pieces of information The Fourth Estate requested in a letter that was delivered to the Council of State today, June 10, 2021:
- The number of plenary meetings attended by members of the Council of State member from 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and January 1-6, 2021.
- The number of times each of the members of the Council of State attended the plenary meetings in the years above.
- Copies of the signed attendance sheets of all the plenary meetings from January 2017 to January 6, 2021.
STANDING COMMITTEE MEETINGS
4. The list of members of each of the Council of State standing committees from January 2017 to January 6, 2021.
5. The number of meetings each of the committees was expected to attend per year in the period mentioned above.
- The number of meetings attended by each of the committees of the Council of State from January 2017 to January 6, 2021.
- The number of times each member of the Council of State attended the standing committee meetings.
- The list of adhoc committees of the Council of State from January 2017 to January 6, 2021and the number of times each of the adhoc committees met within the period.
- The list of members of these adhoc committees of the Council of State within the stated period above.
- The number of times each of the members attended the adhoc committee meetings within the period in question.
- Copies of signed attendance sheets of each of the adhoc committee meetings.
SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES
12. The monthly salaries received by the Chairman of the Council of State and members of the Council of State from January 2017 to December 2020
13. The sitting allowances (if any) of members of the Council of State at the Committee and Plenary sittings within the period under consideration
14. The list of Council of State members who registered as attending meetings out of Accra between 2017 and 2020
15 Transportation allowances paid to each member coming outside Accra per meeting within the period under consideration
16 Transportation allowance (if any) paid to each member of the Council of State attending meetings from Accra.
ADVICE TO THE PRESIDENT
17. The number of subjects or issues on which the Council of State advised the President and or any other state institution or office from January 2017 to January 6, 2021.