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STOP TRANSMITTING ANTI-LGBT+ BILL TO AKUFO ADDO – Secretary To The President Tells Parliament

The Office of the President has urged Parliament not to transmit the recently passed Anti-LGBT+ Bill to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for assent.

The presidency cited two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction against the Bill before the Supreme Court.

In a statement released on Monday, March 18, 2024, Nana Bediatuo Asante, the Secretary to the President, disclosed that the Attorney-General had informed President Akufo-Addo via a letter dated March 18, 2024, regarding the pending legal actions.

“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, March 14, 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.

“This Office is aware of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction, both filed on March 7, 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,” part of the statement said.

It emphasised the need 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 March 18 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, proscribes LGBT activities and criminalises their promotion, advocacy and funding.

Persons caught in these acts would be subjected to six months to a three-year jail term, with promoters and sponsors bearing a three to five-year jail term.

President Akufo-Addo has suspended his decision on whether or not to sign the Bill into law, citing a challenge to its constitutionality in the Supreme Court.

Even if he decides against it, MPs can, by a two-thirds majority, veto the president’s decision and make the provisions of the Bill enforceable.

 

 

 

 

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