Member of Parliament for the Awutu Senya West constituency Gizella Tetteh-Agbotui, has stated that the minority’s call for a probe into the account of the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo is as a result of the speed with which she refunded the allowances paid into her purse since 2017, saying that calls for the opening of the ‘pandora’s box’ into her NGO.
She said nobody told the First Lady to pay back all the allowances but since she decided to do so voluntarily then it is in the right direction to pay back with interest to the state as her side is demanding.
Ms Tetteh-Agbotui said the minority is asking for the interest to be paid and an audit into her Rebecca Foundation, especially when a state enterprise like the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation(GNPC) paid a whopping GHS 750,000 into the account of the foundation.
She pointed out that Mrs Akufo-Addo decided to refund the allowances to the state because she couldn’t stand the heat of criticism coming in her direction.
She made this pronouncement in an interview with Berla Mundi on the New Day show on Wednesday, July 14.
The Awutu Senya West lawmaker was reacting on the back of the First Lady’s move to pay back all the allowances allocated to her by the state since 2017 due to the public uproar meted out to her when it was recommended by the Prof. Yaa Ntiamoah-Badu committee to set salaries for the First and Second Ladies of Ghana.
“The Professor’s committee had no right to push her under the Article 71 office holders, they don’t qualify to be in that category at all. And now this brings to bear what laws are going to be on the whole First Ladies job description, in fact what are their job descriptions? What activities are they supposed to do?’’ she quizzed.
She added “I’m bringing it back to the whole governance issue, we have to sit down and state it clearly for everybody to know what they are entitled to and what they are not entitled to. To be fair, they are entitled to something, the quantum is another matter, the backdating is also another matter, especially in this time of hardship. And so if Ghanaians are angry and upset about this, naturally so because this is huge.
“Nobody has asked her to pay back this, she voluntarily paid it back so then if you are paying it back, pay with interest. The minority’s press conference they did, they also talked about funds to the Rebecca Foundation, especially state funds when GNPC gave her about 750,000 to her foundation and that opens another pandora’s box again about the accountability of NGOs, the First Ladies, Second Ladies and all those ladies in higher office and generally accountability on all NGOs.
“So maybe there has to be that, as lawmakers we have to now look at that system and how we are going to streamline that as well. And it comes back to governance as well, sometimes we have to set certain things right, like I said she can’t seem to take the heat so she has refunded. About the call for paying interest, my second deputy leader, he is the chairman of the public accounts committee so if he is making that request he knows why he is making that request”.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana