Private legal practitioner Kweku Paintsil says he is disappointment in President Akufo-Addo over his refusal to assent to the anti-witchcraft and Armed Forces Bills.

According to him, Akufo-Addo cannot be oblivious of the effect of the delayed passage on the country’s democracy.

“There was no need writing that long letter to Parliament. You may have concerns with the procedure but what matters is the substance and that in this case is good. We are all in support of what the Bill seeks to do,” he said.

In July, Parliament passed the Armed Forces Bill which seeks to amend sections of Act 29 and the Armed Forces Act, 1962 (Act 105) to replace the Death Penalty with life imprisonment.

The Criminal Offences Amendment Bill 2023 also seeks to prohibit the act of declaring, accusing, naming, or labeling an individual as a witch, among other related matters.

But the President in a letter on December 18 cited financial implications on the state’s consolidated fund and potential breaches of Article 108 of the Constitution as reasons for his refusal.

He explained in consultations with the Attorney General, he was advised that the Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill 2023, a private member’s bill sponsored by the Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu, seeking to replace the death penalty with a life sentence, had financial implications on the state’s consolidated fund due to the associated cost of incarceration.

But lawyer Paintsil on Adom FM’s morning show Dwaso Nsem said the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin fought off these concerns because it is inappropriate for the President to raise such issues months after the Bill’s initial passage.

“I am disappointed really disappointed in the President and Attorney General because they have been in this country and knew what was going on.

It baffles me that the President is coming now with these concerns. I see the posture as a deliberate move to drag the process so his tenure ends and the responsibility of the Bill will be off his head. He should just say he does not agree with the law because his posture is embarrassing,” he added.

Mr. Paintsil urged President Akufo-Addo to reconsider his decision as it could affect the country’s social equality.