The lead sponsor of the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Francis Xavier Sosu, has hinted he may go to court to get President Akufo-Addo to assent to the Bill.
The Madina Member of Parliament (MP) has said the passage of the Bill is important and the President must treat it as such.
“The next move will all be constitutional matters. I have spoken to some lawyers who are ready to go to the Supreme Court because they believe the president is rather being unconstitutional.
“Also Article 103(8) of the constitution says he has 14 days to state in a memorandum to the Speaker any specific provisions of the bill which in his opinion should be reconsidered, including his recommendations for amendments if any. So we are waiting for that as well,” he stated.
Also known as the Witchcraft Bill, it explicitly criminalises the practice of witchcraft accusation and proscribes the declaration, accusation, naming or labelling of another person as a witch, and its related matters.
President Akufo-Addo on Monday wrote to Parliament that, even though the content of the bill has his support, he cannot assent to them because of constitutional issues.
The President noted that the way and manner the bill was prepared flouts Article 108 of the 1992 Ghana Constitution.
He said the concerns have profound implications for the constitutional integrity of “this Legislative action.”
Reacting to this in an interview on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem, Mr Sosu said the passage of the Bill was long overdue, hence the president should stop making excuses.
“All the ministers were in parliament during the deliberations so why will the President now raise concerns about the bill not being laid on his behalf? ” he quizzed.
Mr. Sosu added, “We must be serious about this because if you go to some villages and communities where the mere accusation of witchcraft can destroy someone’s life, you will appreciate this argument and see the need to protect these people in the society.”