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Akufo-Addo not man enough to reject anti-gay bill outright – Asiedu Nketia

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Source: Myjoyonline.com



The National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has stated that President Akufo-Addo simply lacks the courage to tell Ghanaians that he does not support the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values bill, popularly known as the anti-gay bill.

The bill currently remains on the desk of parliament despite its unanimous passage by the House.

The President has already indicated that he will not sign the bill until the Supreme Court decides on the lawsuit challenging its passage. This position has been criticized by many, particularly the opposition NDC, which accuses the president of double standards.

The party argued that in the case of the controversial E-levy for instance, the President did not hesitate to assent to it although the party had filed a suit at the Supreme Court.

Parliament is even more angered by the fact that the President wrote to the House instructing them not to transmit the bill to the executive.

Parliament has since written to the Chief Justice to expedite the hearing of the legal challenge, taking a cue from a similar request made by the Attorney-General that got the Supreme Court to speedily sit on a case in which an opposition MP had filed a suit to stop parliament from approving some new ministerial nominees.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Wednesday, the NDC Chair said the President’s excuse for not assenting to the bill clearly shows that he does not want to sign it, but lacks the courage to say that completely.

“Because parliament has done their work up to a point, and they say transmit this to the President. You don’t have the right not to receive. You can receive it, and after receiving it, you have options that have been provided under the constitution.

And somebody is in court trying to injunct you from acting on the bill; that injunction does not say don’t receive the bill. So, for you to write to parliament that because I am on some injunction not to sign it, don’t bring it at all, it means you have a pre-meditated agenda. You don’t want to receive it or work on it or do anything with it, but you are not man enough to tell Ghanaians that I don’t want to do it” he noted.

The NDC National Chairman is particularly disappointed that the President asked parliament not to transmit the bill to him.

“I am on the side of Parliament because the President has no reason to ask that Parliament should not submit the bill because the cases that are in court, the last time I checked, there’s no application for an injunction or any actual injunction granted that prevents the President from receiving the bill.

The only application for an injunction that I have seen is to block the President from signing the bill. Receiving and signing are different things. So, if you don’t want to receive the bill, you don’t blame anyone who has gone to court because the reliefs being sought in court do not border on you not receiving. They say don’t work on it. But for the office receiving it, it’s a matter of impunity that is being shown by the President to frustrate the work of parliament”he argued.

The one-time NDC scribe alleged that President Akufo-Addo masterminded the lawsuit that is supposedly preventing him from assenting to the bill. According to him, it was not a mere coincidence that the President could refer to a lawsuit that was yet to be filed as the basis for his decision not to sign the bill.

By this, he concluded that the President was part of the plan to frustrate the anti-LGBTQI+ bill from becoming law.

“It is clearly an excuse and it’s a wrong excuse because he [President Akufo-Addo] was citing the court case even before anybody could file it. It tells you that he [President Akufo-Addo] orchestrated the filing.”

As at the time the President spoke, nobody had gone to court. If there’s an intention to file and the person has not filed, how do you restrain yourself over that? So, it means that you don’t want to do something but you want an excuse to cite not to do it. Because if you have heard that somebody is going to court, the person has not gone to court and yet you are injuncting yourself, then it means that you’re part of an orchestration to go to court in the first place.”

Based on this, Mr Asiedu Nketia said, “I don’t trust in the independent-mindedness of whoever that filed the process.

Pointing to the private legal practitioner cum journalist Richard Dela Sky who filed the suit, the NDC Chair suggested that he was in bed with the government.

“Who doesn’t know the Citi FM man, Richard Sky? Richard Sky works in the chamber of the Attorney-General, and he was sponsored to do his law course by this government. And the man has returned and he’s working with the Majority Leader. There’s circumstantial evidence and that’s my belief.

When the host drew his attention to the wild claims, the NDC Chair insisted that he was privy to those details about the plaintiff and had evidence to back them.



Source: www.myjoyonline.com

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