Criminal Offences Amendment Bill: Akufo –Addo can’t be blamed- Majority

Story: Yaw Takyi 

The Majority in Parliament says the President has not breached any constitutional requirement over the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill 2022, also referred to as the anti-witchcraft bill.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, expressed his dissatisfaction with the President over his silence on the approval or otherwise of the bill after its passage by Parliament in July.

Addressing the media, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said  the bill was not presented to the President.

“Ordinarily, it should have been sent to the president for his assent, but I must state emphatically that those bills have not been sent to the president for his assent. The Speaker knows about it. And I’m surprised that he came and made this address to appear as if the president was trampling upon the Constitution.”

“Nothing can be further from the truth. When parliament rose from the 2nd meeting, I stepped out of the country. And in my absence, these bills were passed. As usual, when I came, I looked at the bills and going through, I realized there were major challenges. Things that parliament ought to have paid attention to, but they didn’t pay attention to them. Unfortunately, I don’t know if they were rushing through.”

The Majority Leader, however, in his explanation to the speaker on the floor of the house, said some anomalies were sighted in the bill after its passage, hence the decision to rectify them before approval by the President.

“Mr. Speaker, what happened, and I have had cause to discuss this. After the passage of the bill, going through it, we saw major issues. That is from parliament itself and also informed the president that there are issues with the bill, which prompted him to indicate that he then has to have conversations with the speaker.

“Unfortunately, at the time, the speaker was unavailable, and when the president came, the speaker was also unavailable. As for the president assenting to the bill, it can easily be done.”

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