Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, a candidate for chief justice, claims that the judiciary is not compensated ex gratia.
She claims that judges do not have terms of office; rather, they serve until retirement and are not eligible for ex-gratia.
Justice Torkornoo stated that a presidential committee determines the salary and benefits of judges when testifying before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Friday, May 26.
“I think that consistently the Association of Judges and Magistrates have responded to questions on ex-gratia for judges and made it very clear that judges don’t receive ex-gratia.
“We continue in office, we don’t leave office until you retire. We don’t have a cycle, and therefore, the discussion of ex-gratia is not applicable to us.
“This specific provision, where our names [judges] are mentioned, how our salaries are set under Article 71, it’s a committee, a presidential committee that does that work. And the framers of the Constitution thought that, that was the appropriate thing to keep us independent and we are not the only persons subject to it. It’s an entrenched provision and can only be changed by a very elaborate position.”
If elected, John Mahama, the candidate for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), will renounce ex-gratia payments to political appointees.
Speaking on Monday, May 15, at the University of Development Studies in Tamale, he pleaded with Ghanaians to keep him to his word.
“I am committed to operating an effective government with not more than sixty (60) ministers.
“These ministers together with other appointees of the government will not be entitled to ex-gratia payments after their tenure, as they will commit to that undertaking even before the necessary constitutional amendments, including a review of the controversial Article 71.”