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MPs who took double salaries abused their office for personal gain – Amidu

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has waded into the debate over the double salaries saga. He is of the view that the MPs involve abused their office for their personal gain.

The anti-corruption campaigner believes Ghanaians have to be realistic in discussing the issue because legislators have to behave honourably due to their work as law makers.

In an interview with Accra based Citi Fm, he said even if government by mistake pays money into your account…and you double there you should know that you have been over paid and your duty is to tell your bank to return one of them.’’

He explained that you are supposed to opt as Member of Parliament when you are appointed a minister whether you are going to retain your parliamentary salary and receive only a top up…’’ MPs alleged to have received double salaries while serving as Ministers in the Mahama administration will not go scot-free, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has said.

Some of those MPs include Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Second Deputy Speaker Alban Bagbin, who nurses a presidential ambition, as well as Wa Central MP and ex-minister of Public-Private Partnerships, Dr Rashid Pelpuo; Inusah Fuseini, former Lands and Natural Resources Minister; Comfort Doyoe Ghansah, former Minister of State in charge of Social and Allied Institutions; Mr Eric Opoku, former Brong Ahafo Regional Minister and Fifi Kwetey, former Deputy Minister of Finance. Commenting on the matter, Mr. Amidu said:

“What is worrying for me is the knowledge that some people are even talking to the president to compromise so that crime will be overlooked because they are Members of Parliament”. “… Why should a Special Prosecutor be prosecuting ordinary Ghanaians and your honourables will be involved in these things; then they will be talking to the president to wash it up.

Then I have no need sitting here. I won’t even have the conscience to continue. “Will I have the conscience to prosecute any other body for corruption if the CID finds something prosecutable and are not allowed to prosecute because Members of Parliament are involved?

That is not fair,” the former AG said. He continued: “The ordinary man going to jail is a human being like a Ghanaian. I don’t like this whole idea about political elite. Honourables you are supposed to be, and then you are just fleecing the country.

Indeed, that is an offence of abuse of office for private gain”. “Money was ever paid into my account… When my bank notified me I told them to return it because that is not what me and the Attorney General agreed. I could have kept it.

This is what they should have done. You don’t keep the money for six months, one year, two years or three years, you’ve left office, one-and- half years, you’ve not made any efforts to return it.

Then when the CID begins seeing it now you are rationalising it and yet when the ordinary man takes plantain one bunch, he goes to jail for 15 years. So, what is the political elite telling us?” “If it’s been happening since 1992 and no one has seen it, now it has been seen, those responsible should bear the consequence,” he added.

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