Former MPs sue for End-of-Service benefits
5/9/2012 5:31:17 PM -
The Accra High Court will, on Thursday, commence proceedings in a case in which 47 former Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Third Republic have sued the Attorney-General for their end-of-service benefits to be paid them.
The plaintiffs, led by Alhaji Mohammed Seini Farl, are also praying the court to compel the defendant to pay interest on the end-of-service benefits at the prevailing commercial bank rate from December 31, 1981.
In their statement of claim, they said they contested and won parliamentary seats in their various constituencies under the Third Republican Constitution and were accordingly sworn in as MPs.
According to the statement, per Article 94 (1) of the 1979 Constitution, MPs were supposed to serve for five years, after which Parliament should be dissolved and fresh elections held.
It said Article 79 of the 1979 Constitution provided for the mode of removal of an MP from office, while Article 95 provided for end-of-service benefits or gratuity accruable to MPs at the end of the five-year term.
According to the statement, about 27 months into their term on December 31, 1981, a coup d'etat orchestrated by Flt Lt J.J. Rawlings and others brought to an abrupt end their term as MPs and formed the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
It said upon seizure of political power by Flt Lt Rawlings and his PNDC, Parliament was dissolved.
It said Parliament having been dissolved, the plaintiffs were entitled to be paid gratuity or end-of-service benefits, just like MPs who had served under the 1992 Constitution.
According to the statement, the plaintiffs had, since 2000, made several attempts and held many meetings at the highest level of government and been assured that their demands would be taken care of.
It said all the efforts that they had made for the past 11 years had been in vain because it was now clear that the government, in spite of all promises made to them, actually did not intend to honour them.
According to the statement, the only option left for the plaintiffs now was to seek redress in the law court.
Source: Daily Graphic