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President Akufo-Addo Clarifies Decision to Withhold Assent to Criminal Offenses Amendment Bill 2023


President Nana Akufo-Addo has provided clarity on his decision not to assent to the Criminal Offenses Amendment Bill 2023, a move that has sparked discussions and raised questions about the government’s stance on criminal justice reform.

In a statement issued by the Presidency, President Akufo-Addo outlined his reservations regarding certain provisions within the bill, citing concerns related to constitutional principles and potential ramifications for individual rights. The President emphasized the importance of striking a balance between enhancing law enforcement capabilities and safeguarding the fundamental rights of citizens.

While acknowledging the intent behind the proposed amendments to strengthen the legal framework for addressing criminal offenses, President Akufo-Addo expressed reservations about specific clauses that he believes may infringe upon constitutional rights and due process.

The decision not to give assent to the bill is seen as a demonstration of the President’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that legislative measures align with constitutional principles. Akufo-Addo urged Parliament to revisit the contentious sections of the bill, engaging in thorough consultations to address the concerns raised and refine the proposed amendments.

The Criminal Offenses Amendment Bill 2023 seeks to introduce changes aimed at enhancing the legal tools available to law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime. However, the President’s decision to withhold assent has generated discussions among legal experts, lawmakers, and civil society organizations, with some supporting the need for robust legislation to combat criminal activities and others cautioning against potential rights infringements.

Parliament is expected to review the bill in light of the President’s concerns, fostering a collaborative approach to addressing the identified issues. The clarification from President Akufo-Addo underscores the importance of a balanced and constitutionally sound legal framework in ensuring effective law enforcement while safeguarding individual rights and liberties.

As the bill undergoes further scrutiny, stakeholders will closely monitor developments, anticipating a constructive dialogue between the executive and legislative branches to refine the proposed amendments and strengthen the legal framework in the fight against criminal offenses.

story filed by: Nana Kwaku Duah


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