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Presidency refutes claims of delay in assenting to Witchcraft Bill

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The Office of the President has clarified that President Nana Akufo-Addo has not declined to assent to the Criminal Offences (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2023, which seeks to outlaw witch doctors and witch-finding practices.

This comes after Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, expressed displeasure over the President’s alleged silence on the bill.

However, the President’s Office stated that the bill was only presented to him on Monday, November 27, 2023, the same day the Speaker made the accusation.

The bill, a private member’s bill sponsored by MP Francis Xavier Sosu, aims to prevent attacks on alleged witches and prohibit individuals from operating as witch doctors or witch-finders.

The statement further clarifies that the President takes his constitutional duties seriously and will carefully consider the bill before making a decision.

“Contrary to the claims made in these reports by the Speaker of Parliament and the Minority Caucus in Parliament, President Akufo-Addo has not remained silent on the Bill. How could the Speaker of Parliament 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.”

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