Akoto Ampaw calls for anti-gay Bill rejection

Akoto Ampaw

Private Legal Practitioner, Akoto Ampaw has called on Parliament to reject the Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill, which he claims does not meet legal requirements as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution.

According to him, the Bill in its current form violates Article 1(1) (2):” which uphold the sovereignty of the people of Ghana in whose name and whose welfare the powers of Government shall be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in the Constitution”.

“Irrespective of the number of people who support the Bill, the legislation must meet the first provision of the constitution. If it does not by Clause (2) of Article 1 of that bill or legislation is void”.

Mr  Akoto Ampaw made the observation when he appeared before Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs on behalf of a group of Concerned Ghanaian Citizens against the passing of the Bill.

Parliament on Thursday began sitting on the Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill also known as the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, which was laid in the House on Monday, August 2, 2021, and read for the first time.

The Bill among other things is seeking to criminalize some activities of members of the LGBTQ Community in Ghana.

Mr  Akoto Ampaw also pointed out that the combined effect of the two provisions was that the Select Committee and Parliament as a whole had a duty to ensure that any bill that comes to Parliament, must first be checked whether it had been introduced in accordance with the constitution.

He said even after crossing that heddle, Parliament must interrogate and determine whether the bill and its processes were within the limit of the constitution.

Mr Akoto Ampaw also argued that the Speaker of Parliament, violated Articles 108 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution by allowing the Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill to be laid before the House through Private Members.

He stated that per article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, “Parliament shall not proceed on a bill, which will impose costs or charges on the Consolidated Fund unless it is presented by, or on behalf of the President.”

He noted that, “the speaker is not above the Constitution, he is subject to the mandatory provisions of the Constitution and it is our view that the Speaker violated article 108 of the Constitution when he allowed such a bill that clearly imposes a charge on the consolidated funds and public funds to be laid before Parliament.”

Apostle Ofori Kuruagu of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council in his argument to the Committee stated that Parliament as the representative of the people at all material times was expected to mirror the broad opinions of its constituents and where appropriate serve as a vehicle to satisfy the interest of the people whose mandate it represented through the vehicle of legislation.

He said the passage of the Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill would give eloquent expression to the sovereign will of the majority of the people which Parliament represented and a bold attempt from the dangerous notion that anything foreign is “good for the nation”.

“This nation is being inundated with all forms of foreign values…we see this bill as a bold attempt to disassociate Ghana from such a menace”, he added.

Apostle Ofori Kuruagu also stated that “the Bill seeks to customize the distinct values of the people by creating a situation to preserve the time honour values of the nation free from foreign corruption and imposition”.

He argued that the Bill was a proactive step to give impetus to certain aspects of the country’s criminal jurisprudence and deny it the oxygen to fuel the flames of possible “wildfire” that might obliterate the foundations of the nation’s cherished norms and values, which makes us Ghanaians.

Source: GNA

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