Stop transmitting Anti-LGBT+ Bill to Akufo-Addo – Bediatuo to Parliament

The Office of the President has officially served notice to Parliament the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is not ready to sign the recently passed Anti-LGBT+ Bill into law.

A statement signed by Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, cited two pending applications before the Supreme Court, for an order of interlocutory injunction against the Bill.

The statement released on Monday, March 18, 2024, explained that the Attorney-General brought the development to President Akufo-Addo’s attention to the development during a Cabinet retreat held last Thursday.

“It has come to the attention of this Office that while the President and other senior officials of the Presidency were at Peduase for a Cabinet Retreat on Thursday, 14th March 2024, you attempted to submit the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2024 (the “Bill”) to Jubilee House for the President to signify his assent or otherwise to the Bill.

It added .. “This Office is aware of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction, both filed on 7th March 2024 in the Supreme Court in Dr. Amanda Odoi v. The Speaker of Parliament and The Attorney-General (J1/13/2023) and Richard Sky v.

The Parliament of Ghana and The Attorney-General (31/9/2024) respectively, to restrain you and Parliament from transmitting the Bill to the President and, also, to restrain the President from signifying his assent to the Bill, pending the final determination of the matter,”

Nana Bediatuo Asante further explained that the advice was deemed apt to avoid taking any actions that could potentially prejudice the outcome of the legal proceedings or undermine the authority of the court.

“The Attorney-General has, by letter dated 18th March 2024, informed the President that he has been duly served with both applications and has advised the President not to take any step, in relation to the Bill until the matters raised by the suits are determined by the Supreme Court.

“It is the understanding of this Office that both applications have also been duly served on Parliament. Therefore, it would be improper for you to transmit the Bill to the President and equally improper for this Office to receive the Bill until the Supreme Court determines the matters raised in the suits.

“Indeed, it is settled law that, during the pendency of an interlocutory injunction application, the status quo ante ought to be preserved, and no action should be taken that would result in prejudicing the injunctive relief sought and undermining the authority of the court,” the statement added.

The anti-LGBT+ Bill, as passed by Parliament, criminalises the promotion, advocacy and funding of such activities and persons found culpable are subject to six months to a three-year jail term, with promoters and sponsors likely to face three to five-year jail term, if passed into law.

It will be recalled that long before this official notice, the President Akufo-Addo in his engagement with the Diplomatic community served notice he will not be in a hurry to sign the bill.

Critics have however faulted his decision saying the Supreme Court can only interpret the law if it is duly passed, hence the application is moot in its current form.



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