The Office of the President has refuted claims that President Akufo-Addo has declined to assent to the Criminal Offences (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2023, a legislative measure aimed at amending the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin on Monday, November 27, 2023, announced that President Akufo-Addo has failed to assent to the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill, 2022 which sought to proscribe witchcraft tag in the country.

But reacting to the claims by the Speaker of Parliament and the Minority Leader, the Office of the President questioned how the Speaker of Parliament could 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 assent together with the Wildlife 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. (See attachment). It is, thus, wholly inaccurate that the Bill has been sitting on the desk of the President without receiving due attention,’ a statement signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the President said.

It added: “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.

The Office of the President further assured the public and media that Bills, including this
current Bill, the Criminal Offences (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2023, are being attended to with the utmost respect for constitutional mandates and legislative processes.