In response to concerns regarding a potential breach of Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo over the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill 2022, the Presidency has clarified that the bill was officially submitted for assent on Monday, November 27, 2023.
This comes despite the passage of the Bill by Parliament in July of this year, aiming to criminalize the declaration, accusation, naming, or labeling of another person as a witch in Ghana.
In Parliament on Monday, the President faced criticism for breaching Article 106, which requires him to assent to a bill sent by Parliament within seven days.
However, the presidency has rebutted, stating that the bill reached the President on the same day as the accusation.
“Contrary to the claims made in these reports by the Speaker of Parliament and the Minority Caucus in Parliament, President Akuko-Addo has not remained silent on 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?
“Indeed, the Bill was officially presented to the President for his ament together with the Wild Life Resources Management Bill, 2023 and National Petroleum Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, under cover of a letter dated 27th November 2023, with reference PS/CS/112/826. It is, thus, wholly inaccurate that the Bill has been sitting on the desk of the President without receiving due attention,” a statement from the Presidency said.
It affirmed that the President was within schedule to give his assent.
“President Akufo-Addo is mindful of Article 106 (7) of the Constitution, which affords the President seven (7) days to review and give his assent to any Bill presented to him. In light of this constitutional provision, it is important to note that the President is still well within the legally stipulated timeframe to make a decision regarding the Bill. During this period, the President may examine the bill thoroughly and, if necessary, convey any concerns or suggestions he might have regarding its contents to Parliament.”
Article 106 (7) states that, “Where a bill passed by Parliament is presented to the President for assent, he shall signify, within seven days after the presentation, to the Speaker that he assents to the bill or that he refuses to assent to the bill, unless the bill has been referred by the President to the Council of State under Article 90 of this Constitution.