Private legal practitioner, Akoto Ampaw, has said the Speaker of Parliament violated Articles 108 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution by allowing the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values 2021 bill to be laid before the House through Private Members.
Addressing Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on behalf of the Group of Concerned Ghanaian Citizens against the passing of the bill, on Thursday, Mr Ampaw noted that per article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, “Parliament shall not proceed on a bill which will impose costs or charges on the Consolidated Fund unless it is presented by, or on behalf of the President.”
He noted that “the Speaker is not above the Constitution, he is subject to the mandatory provisions of the Constitution and it is our view that the Speaker violated article 108 of the Constitution when he allowed such a bill that clearly imposes a charge on the Consolidated Funds and public funds to be laid before Parliament.”
According to him, “As we all know, any discretionary power that is granted any person exercising a public function like the Speaker of Parliament under Article 296 of the Constitution, must be exercised in a reasonable, not arbitrary manner and without prejudice.”
“And where it is clear that the Speaker of Parliament, as in this case, has exercised his discretion unreasonably by concluding that the bill does not impose a charge on the public fund when it is obvious and palpable that the bill imposes a charge on the public fund, that decision of the Speaker is by Article 296 of the Constitution unconstitutional,” he added.
The Anti-LGBTQ+ bill, since its introduction, has generated public debate from various stakeholders in the country.
While some Members of Parliament and religious bodies have advocated for the passage of the bill, other civil society groups and academia have opposed the bill, stressing that it will violate human rights when passed in its current state.
Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs on Thursday began the public hearing on the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill 2021. Mr Ampaw is one of the first persons to address the Committee.