Story: News Desk
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has strongly disagreed with President Akufo-Addo’s decision not to assent to the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill and Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill.
In a fiery address to Parliament, Mr Bagbin accused the President of being “tragically wrong” and “ill-informed” in his rationale for rejecting the bills.
President Akufo-Addo, in a letter, cited financial implications on the state’s consolidated fund and potential breaches of Article 108 of the Constitution as reasons for his refusal.
He specifically identified the Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill, sponsored by MP Francis Xavier Sosu, as having financial burdens associated with replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that in consultations with the Attorney General, he was advised that the Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill 2023 which was a private member’s bill sponsored by the Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu seeking to replace the death penalty with a life sentence had financial implications on the consolidated fund of the state due to the associated cost of incarceration.
However, Mr. Bagbin vehemently dismissed these concerns. He asserted that the President was misguided in his assessment of the bills’ financial implications.
“Vehemently we disagree with the position taken by the president. The president has gotten it tragically wrong and I will submit in the form of a statement under article 53 my position in this matter and allow members of the house to make comments so that we can take a clear position in this matter.
“And I will do so during this week. The president has not been properly advised. The President has not been properly informed about the processes this bill has gone through. So I will submit a detailed write-up on it for members to make their comments but I am very clear that this message and the contents are irregular, wrongful and unconstitutional.
“The responsibility to decide whether a bill should come from a private member or not rests on the person presiding. The procedure in the act clearly states what the president is expected to do. It is not for the president to decide on the constitutionality or otherwise of a bill that has been presented and considered by parliament. This power of parliament will not be taken away by any exemptive authority,” he said.