Francis-Xavier Sosu condemns Akufo-Addo for refusing to assent witchcraft bill

Francis-Xavier Sosu criticized the president’s denial, describing it as “highly regressive and indicative of a lack of good faith.”


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has come under fire from lawyer Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, a Madina member of parliament, for declining to sign the Witchcraft and two other bills.

The president’s denial was criticized by Francis-Xavier Sosu, who called it “highly regressive and indicative of a lack of good faith.”

The Criminal Offenses (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Criminal Offenses Amendment Number Two Bill, 2023, and the Armed Forces Amendment Bill are among the bills being considered.

In response to the president’s letter explaining his choice, Sosu expressed surprise, particularly in light of the allegation of constitutional infractions. He stressed how puzzling their rejection at this point was because both bills had successfully passed through consensus at the committee and plenary levels.

“It is quite strange that at this last stage, the President would say that the bill has violated some Constitutional provisions. Once a bill has been admitted and has gone through all the processes and passed, it has become an act of Parliament. And no provision in the Constitution says that when an act has been by Parliament, the President can choose not to assent to the act on grounds that that act or its enforcement will in some respect have a charge on the Consolidated Fund,” he said.

Sosu claimed that the president misunderstood Article 108 and that the bills, which sought to address social issues affecting members who were more vulnerable, were wrongfully rejected.

“So, the president misconstrued article 108 when he gave that as a basis to refuse an assent and it is quite retrogressive and unfortunate. Unfortunate because we are talking about a social problem that is destroying people, the life of most vulnerable people of our society — elderly women, widows, marginalised,” he said.

He underlined that the removal was “backward and regrettable,” especially in light of the bills’ importance in addressing violations of human rights.

Sosu criticized the president for failing to provide specific justifications and suggested changes within the legally required 14 days, choosing instead to make a general statement.

He emphasized the bills’ widespread praise from the Universal Peer Review in Geneva, where Godfred Yeboah Dame, Ghana’s Attorney General, acknowledged them as forward-thinking measures tackling violations of human rights.

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