University of Ghana’s Prof. Ransford Yaw Gyampo has underscored the needlessness of the Council of State as far as its role is concerned.

He says as long as the Council’s advice is not binding on the president, there is no need putting it in place.

Prof. Gyampo says the means through which the Council is composed makes it useless and needless.

He was speaking on Togbe Afede’s refund of some GH₵365k ex-gratia paid him as a member of the Council on TV3’s midday bulletin.

The Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV has refunded a GH₵365k ex-gratia paid him by government. The king and famous business mogul says the amount is not necessary considering the salary he takes with other emoluments as a member of the Council of State which is a part-time job. The gesture has received numerous comments with some applauding and others condemning him for a possible political leaning.

There have been calls for the state to review the entitlements for Article 71 holders where the Council of State is part. Responding to the question of whether the state should expedite action on amending or scraping the entitlements, Prof. Gyampo said the institution itself is irrelevant.

“The council of state itself as a body is needless. We don’t need a Council of State now whose advice is not binding on the president. We don’t need a Council of State now that the president directly or indirectly appoints its members and renders that body toothless,” he expressed.

He added the origin of the Council of State and what inspired it has been totally lost, the reason it should be discarded from Ghana’s Constitution.

He noted “the whole idea of Council of State was borrowed from our traditional idea of Council of Elders. But in our traditional setting, no chief has a hand in appointing members of Council of Elders. Council of Elders were operating in the chief’s palace as obliged and before the chief was born, members of the Council of Elders were already in the chief’s palace.”

“And one of the means through which a chief was destooled was his failure to listen to the advice of the council of elders. Now we borrow this and smuggle it into our constitution and watered it and made it toothless and now it has provided an avenue for very old people in the country to go and earn income after they’ve lived their life and contributed their quota already to national development,” he said.

Prof. Gyampo further indicated the wheels of power has changed peoples thought on the relevance of the Council of State since people he shared similar views with accepted the offer when power changed and got appointed.

“And so the point is that, I don’t see it’s relevance and there are so many great minds serving on the Council of State now who agree with me. When they were in opposition, we held the same view but when they got to power [and] they were appointed, they didn’t object to that appointment. I don’t want to mention names but as we speak, there are so many great minds, very respectable elderly statesmen and women serving on the Council of State who know that the Council of State as it is now is needless and toothless.”

Source: Felix Anim-Appau|Onuaonline.com|Ghana