The Supreme Court has ordered that all double salary Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers should be served by way of substituted service after swerving service of the writ of summons issued against them.
Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Baffoe, also known as Abronye DC, filed a suit against the former ministers including Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, challenging the payment of their salaries to them between 2009 and 2016 when they doubled as MPs and ministers or deputy ministers.
The court gave the order after the lawyer for Abronye DC, Seth Gyapong Oware, informed the court that the affected MPs and former government appointees are evading service of court processes. Subsequently, the court directed that the processes should be posted on the notice boards of Parliament, Supreme Court and the Law Court Complex.
It also directed further publication in the Daily Graphic and DAILY GUIDE newspapers within 14 days.
The defendants are Haruna Iddrisu, Alhassan Azong, Fifi Fiave Kwetey, Eric Opoku, Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Mark Owen Woyongo, Comfort Doyoe, Cudjoe Ghansah and Aquinas Tawiah Quansah.
The rest are the Controller and Accountant General and the Attorney General.
It is the case of Abronye DC that the affected MPs and former government appointees who received double salaries as MPs and ministers or deputy ministers is inconsistent with the constitution. He contends that per Article 98 of the Constitution, the practice is unconstitutional, null and void. He is, therefore, praying the Supreme Court to declare the payment as a violation of the constitution and an order to compel the MPs to refund the double salaries paid to them.
Abronye wants the Supreme Court to compel the former ministers/deputy ministers who served under the Mills-Mahama administrations, who were also elected MPs between 2009 and 2016, to pay back to the Republic, all double salaries received within the period.
The presiding judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, while granting the application, said “good and substantial reasons have been urged for the grant of the application.”