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NewsAnti LGBTQ+ bill: Akufo-Addo is being constitutionally reckless; he is taking Ghanaians...

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Anti LGBTQ+ bill: Akufo-Addo is being constitutionally reckless; he is taking Ghanaians for granted – Dafeamekpor

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A brewing constitutional dispute is unfolding as Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, co-sponsor of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, accuses President Akufo-Addo of recklessness in dealing with the legislation’s assent process.

The Member of Parliament from the South Dayi constituency contends that the President is circumventing constitutional obligations, sparking concerns about the rule of law.

“I think the President is being constitutionally reckless in the sense that, there’s a presumption of regularity of the performance of the President until a court pronounces otherwise. That is why even when the president’s election into office is challenged, all the actions that he would undertake are presumed to be regular and constitutional until he’s removed by a court of law, which is the Supreme Court,” Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor stated.

Despite the bill’s parliamentary approval, President Akufo-Addo, in a recent diplomatic engagement, assured the international community of Ghana’s commitment to human rights.

He explained that the bill is facing legal challenges in the Supreme Court, and until a resolution is reached, no government action will be taken.

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Dafeamekpor argues that the President is deviating from constitutional norms, insisting that Akufo-Addo should either propose amendments or outright rejection, as allowed by the constitution.

“Where you have a strong disposition to not assenting to a bill, it is not your business under law to keep it. Perhaps, your reservation about the bill is in respect of some provisions or the entire bill; just say so to Parliament.

“Now, if parliament finally remits this bill to the office of the President, he’s going to detain it until maybe two or three years when the Supreme Court makes a determination in the matter. Parliament will not be able to proceed as determined under Article 106 which says where the President remits in terms of the bill back to parliament with explanatory amendments and all that, parliament is mandated to refer that back to a committee to consider, return to the house and then it will be considered and approved by a two-thirds majority, and when that is done, it is remitted to the office of the President for his assent without hesitation.”

He alleges that the President might intentionally delay the bill’s passage using what he deems as flimsy excuses.

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In response to these accusations, Dafeamekpor points to previous instances where the President withheld bills beyond the constitutionally mandated 14-day period.

He warns that such delays could impede the legislative process, leaving Parliament unable to proceed without a clear position from the President.

“What are you going to act on? Because there’s no memo from the President saying that I have refused assent or not. So he’s holding everybody to ransom and that’s not the rule of law. And you can’t have an executive President acting this way” he fumed.

The situation has taken a legal turn, with journalist cum lawyer Richard Dela Sky filing a lawsuit against Parliament at the Supreme Court.

The lawsuit seeks to restrain President Akufo-Addo from assenting to the bill and prevent the Speaker of Parliament and the Clerk from presenting the legislation for approval. This adds to an existing lawsuit against the anti-LGBTQ bill, further complicating the legal landscape.

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As the constitutional clash intensifies, the country awaits the Supreme Court’s decisions on these legal challenges, leaving the fate of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill hanging in the balance.

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