Togbe Afede XIV, Paramount Chief and the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli, has been explaining his intention not to accept over ¢365,000 ex-gratia paid to him for serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020.
According to him, it is not appropriate to receive the said amount when he was being paid monthly for serving as a Council of State member.
Togbe Afede’s explanation comes after members of the public reacted to news of whether or not he indeed followed through with his supposed refund and the rationale behind it.
In a press statement on Monday, June 6, the traditional leader said, he did not think the over ¢365,000 ex-gratia was made to trap him as was being speculated.
“While working on my tax returns towards the end of last year, I received tax receipts from the Council of State Secretariat that indicated that some money was paid into my bank account in July, 2021 as “Ex Gratia” for my four-year work as a member of the Council of State, 2017-2020.
“I applied for and received a statement from my bankers that confirmed that indeed some money was paid into my account. I eventually confirmed from the Council of State Secretariat that the sum of GH¢365,392.67 was paid into my account as Ex Gratia.
“I did not think the payment was made to trap me, as is being speculated. I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, 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,” Togbe Afede XIV explained in his statement.
The businessmen man further stated that he explored ways of returning the money which has been in his account since July 2021, which he successfully effected on March 4, 2022.
“After weeks of trying, I obtained advice on how to refund inappropriate payments to the State, and on March 4, 2022, I made the refund into the Controller & Accountant General’s Department Suspense Account at the Bank of Ghana,” he said.
Togbui Afede continued: “In my letter to the Secretary, Council of State, I stated that ‘It was a great honour for me to have served on the Council of State for four years, 2017 to 2020. Even though I served as chairman of one of the three committees of the Council, the Economy and Special Development Initiatives Committee, and participated fully in the Council’s activities, I do not think my work merited the payment to me of a colossal sum of GH¢365,392.67, as Ex Gratia, in addition to the salary I enjoyed from what was effectively a part-time job’.
“I want to add that my rejection of the payment was consistent with my general abhorrence of the payment of huge Ex Gratia and other outrageous benefits to people who have by their own volition offered to serve our poor country,” Togbui Afede’s statement concluded.