Story: News Desk
The Presidency has refuted accusations leveled against President Akufo-Addo by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin regarding the delay in assenting to the Criminal Offences Bill.
According to a statement from the Jubilee House, claims that the Bill has been neglected on the President’s desk were false.
The statement also emphasized that President Akufo-Addo was fully aware of the constitutional mandate, which allows seven days for the President to review and give assent to any Bill presented to him.
In view of this, the press release signed by Jubilee House’s Communications Director, Eugene Arhin clarified that President Akufo-Addo was not ignoring the Bill.
“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?” portions of the statement signed by Mr. Arhin read.
“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 27. November 2023, with reference PS/CS/112/826.”
The proposed legislation aims to amend the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), with a specific focus on outlawing the practices of witch-doctors or witch-finders.
Additionally, the Bill seeks to prohibit the act of declaring, accusing, naming, or labeling an individual as a witch, among other related matters.
The private member’s bill was passed in July 2023 with the aim of preventing attacks on alleged witches and prohibiting any persons from operating as a witch doctor or a witch-finder.
However, the Speaker says the President has failed to communicate to Parliament whether he assents or disapproves of the bill, as constitutionally required.
But the Presidency insists that President Akufo-Addo is well within the legally stipulated timeframe to make a decision regarding the Bill.
It also argues that the President is demonstrating a commitment to due diligence in the legislative process.
Meanwhile, the Minority has also accused President Akufo-Addo of breaching the constitution due to his failure to assent to the amended act.