Home News Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022 yet to get Presidential assent – Speaker

Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022 yet to get Presidential assent – Speaker

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Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022 yet to get Presidential assent
Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022 yet to get Presidential assent

Mr Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, Monday said the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which sought to proscribe witchcraft accusations, was passed on Thursday, July 27, 2023, yet to receive Presidential assent.

However, during Monday’s proceedings, the Bill resurfaced as Motion 41 in the Order Paper at the Consideration Stage, hence the Speaker directed the Table Office to remove it.

The object of the Bill is to amend the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Acts 29) to prohibit the practice by any person as a witch doctor or a witchfinder; to proscribe the declaration, accusation, naming or labelling of another person as a witch; and for related matters.

The Private Member’s Bill was sponsored by Mr Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina.

Other sponsors included Hajia Laadi Ayii Ayamba, NDC MP of Pusiga; Dr Godfred Seidu Jasaw, NDC MP, Wa East, Madam Helen Adjoa Ntoso, NDC MP, Krachi West, and Madam Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah, NDC MP, Afram Plains North.

Mr Bagbin said a letter to the Presidency, regarding the non-signing of the Bill was yet to receive a response.

He, therefore, urged the President to “follow the dictates of the 1992 Constitution to register his concerns over the Bill and not seek to flout the same Constitution.”

Commenting on the issue, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, an NDC MP for Tamale South, explained that the non-signing of the Bill by President Akufo-Addo was a “breach of Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution.”

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority leader, clarified that the President had several issues with the passed Bill and had been seeking a meeting with the Speaker over the development, adding that he (President Akufo-Addo) had not refused to give his assent to it.

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