To reassure Christians that President Akufo-Addo is not unnecessarily delaying the signing of the Anti LGBTQ+ bill, Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, Michael Okyere Baafi, has informed the congregation in Koforidua that the President risks imprisonment if he proceeds to sign the bill, which is currently before the Supreme Court.

The bill, which was passed by Parliament in February 2024, has become contentious due to President Akufo-Addo’s refusal to assent to it.

This has drawn varied criticisms from the proponents of the bill and the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, who labelled the refusal by the President to receive the bill for consideration as unconstitutional.

However, the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo has explained that Nana Akufo-Addo’s hesitation stems from the legal injunction filed at the Supreme Court.

Addressing congregants of The Church of Pentecost during the Easter Convention in Koforidua, MP Okyere Baafi dismissed claims suggesting intentional delay by the President, citing the legal hindrance as the primary obstacle.

“That foolish thing called LGBTQ cannot be tolerated. The 1992 Constitution already frowns on it. So we the MPs based on powers given to us support the anti-LGBTQ+ bill in Parliament but the law stipulates that the bill must be assented to by the President before it becomes law. But as the President prepares to receive and assent the bill some human rights activists took the matter to the Supreme Court to halt the president from signing”.

Okyere Baafi stated that “if the President goes ahead to sign he will be jailed. The people who sent the matter to court want the president to be jailed if he signs the bill”

The MP added, “President Akufo-Addo supports the Anti -LGBTQ+ bill because, in our monthly meetings with him, he told us to support the bill to be passed because it is a good law. The President is not against the bill”.

Contrary to a warning from the finance ministry, highlighting potential financial repercussions that the bill’s passage could reportedly jeopardize $3.8 million in World Bank financing and potentially disrupt a $3-billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package, Okyere Baafi said the government has nothing to lose if the bill is signed.

“In any case, if President Akufo Addo signs the bill he won’t suffer the consequences because it is left with his 8 months to leave”.

Okyere Baafi however assured that President Akufo-Addo “wants to respect the law before he signs so don’t listen to the misinformation about the issue what I am telling you is the truth. The President says he will sign the bill right after the Supreme Court decision”.

What does Ghana’s 1992 constitution say about the arrest of the President?

Article 57 Clause 5 of the 1992 constitution states that “the President shall not, while in office as President, be personally liable to any civil or criminal proceedings in court.”

Further, clause 6, stated that “civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against a person within three years after his ceasing to be President, in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him in his personal capacity before or during his term of office notwithstanding any period of limitation except where the proceedings had been legally barred before he assumed the office of President”.

Could be it that the Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, Michael Okyere Baafi did not know of this provision when he addressed the Christian congregation?

Source: Ghana/ Ansah