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Article 71 provision is being abused – Former Chief Justice

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Fri, 10 Nov 2023 Source:

Former Chief Justice, Madam Sophia Akuffo has stated that the legal instrument outlining retirement and gratuity benefits for holders of offices specified in Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution is being abused.

Speaking on Starr Chat show hosted by Bola Ray on Thursday, November 9, 2023, the former Chief Justice noted that several positions which were hitherto not provided for in the law has been added to it and are being provided for under the provision.

"The whole thing about the Article 71 office holders has been misunderstood and misconstrued. As far as a I am aware reading the report of the constitutional commission, the rationale for that carving out of that position, and they specified the positions; they didn’t say and such like, they said these positions.

“It’s so that whether you are still working or retired, you are going to be sufficiently well paid so that the fear of post-pension poverty does not drive you into corruption. That is how I have always understood it and that is how it is supposed to be,” she stated.

Asked by the host if they law is suffering from abuse, Justice Akuffo answered in the affirmative saying: “I think so because a lot of other positions outside the constitution’s provisions have been latched onto it.”

Issues around the gratuity of Article 71 Office holders including presidents, heads of the judiciary and some members of the executive has over the period generated controversy.

According to some critics, the provision has become an avenue for public officers to squander scarce state resources.

Former President John Dramani Mahama who is the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has promised to cancel the provision when elected into office again.

Watch the interview below:


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