Prof Azar Says Togbe Afede Returned Huge Ex Gratia To Wake Nation’s Conscience

Prof Azar Says Togbe Afede Returned Huge Ex Gratia To Wake Nation’s Conscience

  • Private legal practitioner Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare has said beyond the public praise for Togbe Afede XIV's return of his ex gratia, a national debate is important
  • The US-based Ghanaian lawyer said Ghanaians must insist on reforms in the current system that transfers outrageous emoluments to a few people in the public sector
  • Prof Azar said it's wrong for Council of State members, for instance, to be paid as though they are full-time employees and then rewarded when they leave office

Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, known popularly as Prof Azar, has said Togbe Afede XIV returned his ex gratia to draw attention to outrageous payments in the public sector.

Prof Stephen Asare
Stephen Asare is an Accounting professor and private legal practitioner. Source: Facebook/@kwaku.azar
Source: Facebook

The US-based Ghanaian private legal practitioner thinks that although the decision by the paramount chief Asogli State to return the GH¢365,392 is commendable, praise was not what he wanted.

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“Rather, he returned it to draw our attention, [wake] our conscience, and push us to insist on the reform of a predatory emolument regime that transfers huge and outrageous amounts to a few people who volunteer to serve POOR Ghana.
“He wants us to ask why a retiring superior court judge retires on his current salary and collects an additional 4 months’ salary for each year that he has served. This means if the judge currently earns ₵20,000 a month and served for 20 years, he will get ₵1.6M ex gratia and continue to collect ₵20,000 a month in retirement.

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“He wants us to ask why part-time public officials are paid as though they are full-time employees and are then rewarded with further huge payments at the end of their service. “He wants us to ask for a full list of all ex gratia recipients along with the amounts they have received since the inception of this emolument regime,” he posted on Facebook.

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Togbe Afede XIV, a business mogul and respected traditional chief in the Volta Region, has dominated headlines this week for returning the ex gratia paid to him as a member of the Council of State from 2017 to 2020.

“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 explained why he returned the cash.

Prof Azar is convinced that the gesture by Togbe is an invitation for a national debate about the fairness and sustainability of these huge emoluments made out to some categories of public servants.

“He reminds us that we are a poor country that can hardly meet our basic needs and is in no position to keep making these payments,” he said.

Togbe Afede Discloses He Is Hurt By Paul Adom-Otchere’s “Dishonesty And Misrepresentations”

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In a related story, YEN.com.gh has reported that Togbe Afede XIV has disclosed that he has been hurt by what he says is dishonesty and misrepresentation of facts by Paul Adom-Otchere.

Although the Asogli State has already responded to the claims against their paramount chief by Adom-Otchere, a TV host, Togbe Afede on Thursday, June 9, 2022, granted an interview to Joy News and expressed his sadness over the deliberate lies the TV host had sought to put out against him.

“My surprise indeed came from the misrepresentation. You can criticise me. You can criticise my opinions but don’t tell lies. Don’t say for instance that Togbe presented himself as coming from Ho to the Council of State and enjoyed transport allowances. When he knew it is not true. He knew that by my character, I could never do something like that."

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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