Sosu petitions UN, ECOWAS to compel Akufo-Addo to sign anti-witchcraft bill

Source The Ghana Report

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, has petitioned the United Nations (UN) to call on President Akufo-Addo to sign the Criminal Offenses (Amendment) Bill, 2023, into law.

He also petitioned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Amnesty International and other organisations.

The bill, which outlaws witchcraft accusations in the country, was passed by Ghana’s Parliament on July 27, 2023.

However, the president has yet to assent to the bill.

The president cited potential financial implications on the country’s consolidated fund as the reason behind his decision not to sign the bill.

However, the MP says that contrary to the president’s views, he sees no financial charge accompanying the passage of the bill.

He said non-passage of the bill further violates Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution and various international laws and treaties such as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human Peoples’ Rights, the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; the Convention on Elimination of All Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), among others.

“It is, therefore, my considered view that the president is in violation of  Articles 106(7) and (8) of the Constitution, and grossly misinterpreted Article 108, as it only deals with the procedure of submission and admission of Private member’s Bills, considering that the Bills were rightly admitted by the person presiding, the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin,” Mr Sosu stated.

He, therefore, called on the organisations for prompt action on the bill to safeguard vulnerable women from discriminatory practices and inhumane treatment.

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