President not quiet on assenting Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill  

President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo

The Office of the President says it is not true that the Presidency is putting up a lukewarm attitude in taking a decision on the Criminal Offences (Amendment) (No.2) Bill. 

Contrary to media reports, the Office asserted the commitment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to giving due attention to the Bill pursuant to Article 106 (7) of the Constitution.

A statement issued by the Communications Directorate, Jubilee House, a copy made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Accra, said the Constitution “affords the President seven days to review and give his assent to any Bill presented to him.”
“Indeed, the Bill was officially presented to the President for his assent together with the Wildlife Resources Management Bill, 2023, and National Petroleum Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, under cover of a letter dated 27th November 2023, with reference PS/CS/112/826.”

“It is important to note that the President is still well within the legally stipulated time frame to make a decision regarding the Bill.

“During this period, the President may examine the Bill thoroughly and, if necessary, convey any concerns or suggestions he might have regarding its contents to Parliament,” the statement noted.

Mr. Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, is reported on Monday to have expressed concern over the delay in giving a presidential assent to the Bill – passed on Thursday, July 27, this year.

The Criminal Offences (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2023, is a legislative measure aimed at amending the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
It is specifically designed to outlaw the roles of witch doctors or witch-finders, in addition to prohibiting the act of declaring, accusing, naming, or labelling an individual as a witch, alongside other related matters.

“The Office of the President assures the public and media that Bills, including this current Bill, the Criminal Offences (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2023, are being attended to with the utmost respect for constitutional mandates and legislative processes,” the statement affirmed.

It stressed that it was wrong for the Speaker of Parliament as well as the Minority Caucus in Parliament to assume that the President had remained silent on the Bill, as reported by the media.

“How could the Speaker of Parliament accuse the President of remaining silent on the Bill when it was officially presented to him on Monday, 27th November 2023, the same day the Speaker made the accusation?” The statement questioned.

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

Other sponsors included Hajia Laadi Ayii Ayamba, MP for Pusiga, Dr. Godfred Seidu Jasaw, MP for Wa-East, Madam Helen Ntoso, MP for Krachi-West, and Madam Betty Krosbi Mensah, MP for Afram Plains.

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