President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has explained to Parliament that, even though the contents of the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022, (Witchcraft bill) and the Armed Forces (Amendment) Bill, 2023 have his support, he cannot assent to them because of constitutional issues.

The President has explained that, the way and manner the two Bills were prepared flouts Article 108 of the 1992 Ghana Constitution and he cannot therefore assent to them due to the constitutional issues.

“After thorough consideration in the light of constitutional issues, I’m unable to assent to these bills,” President Akufo-Addo stated in a letter he sent to Parliament.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin read the letter in the House on Monday morning [December 4, 2023].

Speaker Bagbin explained on the floor of the House that during a conversation between him [Speaker] and the President last week, the president raised specific constitutional concerns.

“I raised specific constitutional concerns regarding the bills related to Article 108 particularly the nature of these bills which were introduced to Parliament as private member’s bill rather than being presented by or on my [President] behalf.”

Article 108 of the 1992 constitution states: “Parliament shall not, unless the bill is introduced or the motion is introduced by, or on behalf of, the President”.

“The content of these bills have my support but we need to ensure that they are enacted in line with established constitutional and legislative process,” President Akufo-Addo’s letter to Parliament stated.

The letter said the concerns raised were significant and have profound implications for the constitutional integrity of “this Legislative action.”

“Any legislation we pass must be in complete alignment with the provision of our Constitution. I intend to have the bill reintroduced to Parliament on my behalf in due course,” the letter said.

Another Bill the President is also unable to assent to is the Wild Life Resources Management Bill, 2023.

Unlike the other two, the President indicated that, this Bill was introduced on his behalf.

However, the letter said various provisions of the bill requires Parliament to reconsider the move to ensure that the bill when enacted will be in alignment with established constitutional legislative process.

The letter said once the necessary considerations and review were done an action will be taken.


The Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which is now popularly referred to as the Witchcraft Bill, explicitly criminalises the practice of witchcraft accusation and proscribes the declaration, accusation, naming or labeling of another person as a witch, and its related matters.

The object of the bill is to amend the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), to prohibit the practice by any person as a witch doctor or witch finder.

It formed part of the broad policy measures to deal with attacks and human rights violations arising out of witchcraft accusations.

The bill was laid in Parliament on March 31, 2023, by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, on behalf of other co-sponsors.

They are Mr Sosu, MP for Pusiga, Hajia Laadi Ayii Ayamba; MP for Wa East, Dr Godfred Seidu Jasaw; MP for Krachi, Helen Adjoa Ntoso, and MP for Afram Plains North, Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah.

I’ve never lobbied to serve or join a gravy train of…

Mahama surprises Dr Kwabena Duffuor [Photos]

Appear before Parliament by 12:30 pm or … – Speaker warns…