The Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has lashed out at former President John Mahama over his decision to occupy his official residence while on retirement.
Mahama requested through his former chief of staff Julius Debrah to keep the bungalow as his “retirement home,” but the transition side of government argues no concrete decision has been reached per the request. Bungalow No.3, situated at Prestige Link, Cantonments in Accra is originally meant to provide accommodation for Ghana’s vice presidents, but Mahama continued to live there when he was elevated as President in 2012.
Speaking on the issue, the Majority Leader said the previous parliament never sanctioned the request of Mahama, whose tenure expired on January 7 2017.
“That is not the decision of Parliament,” the MP for Suame told Accra-based Joy FM.
“If the President requires that; I think the relevant authority is that he may have to dialogue with the current [NPP] administration. Parliament, I must emphasise did not say that where he is now, should be the residential facility to be given to him,” he stressed.
Section 10 (1) of the Transition Act, states that the incumbent President and Vice-President shall each vacate the official residences before the day of the swearing of the person elected as the new President.
“He ought to have vacated that residence. He first occupied the place when he was the Vice President. When he transformed into a President, he did not leave that place.
“The Jubilee House otherwise known as the Flagstaff House has an official residence for our Presidents, so he was required to be there, he opted not to be there and allowed that residence to lie fallow and rather encumber where he is residing now.
“So I will think that, even if he requires to stay there, there should be an official request to that effect and then if the current administration will grant same, it will lie on them.
“But as far as I know, it is the official residence for the Vice President… the Transition Act provides that if even that was the official residence of the president, which he was until a few days ago and he wanted to maintain that as his residency, he ought to have moved out and thereafter put in a request, which if granted will then mean, he comes back to occupy the place. So on all forms, it cannot be justified where he is but the final decision is with the relevant authority,” Mensah-Bonsu noted.
Watch spokesperson for the NPP's transition team, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah react to the former President's decision to covet the state-owned property.
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