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Supreme Court’s Ruling Will Precede My Decision on Anti-LGBTQ Bill – Nana Akufo-Addo

In the circumstances, it would be, as well, for all of us to hold our hands, and await the decision of the Court before any action is taken. The operation of the institutions of the Ghanaian state will determine the future trajectory of the rule of law and human rights compliance in our country.

The President of Ghana, Nana  Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated his readiness to decide whether to assent to the recently passed anti-LGBTI+ bill or not but not before the Supreme Court has given their final ruling.

The president made this known during his speech at the New Year greetings event with members of the Diplomatic Corps at Peduase in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

This also comes apparently on the back of a pending lawsuit filed by a citizen challenging the bill.

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In his speech, the human rights lawyer acknowledged being aware of the anticipations and tensions that have surfaced as a result of last week’s bill passage and while he understands that there are fears of Ghana turning her back on her enviable human rights record, he stands firmly rooted in his convictions to not mar that record.

“I am aware that last week’s bi-partisan passage by Parliament of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, on a Private Member’s motion, has raised considerable anxieties in certain quarters of the diplomatic community and amongst some friends of Ghana that she may be turning her back on her, hitherto, enviable, longstanding record on human rights observance and attachment to the rule of law. I want to assure you that no such back-sliding will be con-templated or occasioned,” he said.

He emphasized that his decision regarding the assent of the bill will not precede the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“In the circumstances, it would be, as well, for all of us to hold our hands, and await the decision of the Court before any action is taken. The operation of the institutions of the Ghanaian state will determine the future trajectory of the rule of law and human rights compliance in our country,” he added.

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The President also hinted that although passed, his outfit is yet to receive the bill for which he’s bound to assent.

“I think it will serve little purpose to go at this stage, into the details of the origin of this proposed law, which is yet to reach my desk,” he said.

Some legal experts, however, argue that the President’s decision to hold off until the Supreme Court’s ruling is alien and not procedural.

They argue that, in a constitutionally mandated approach to refuse assent, the President must sign upon receipt or indicate he won’t within seven days, then proceed to write to parliament then parliament will pass such a bill with a 2/3 majority vote.

Some also argue and wonder about the constitutional grounds of taking a bill not yet assented to court as such act will be defeated by what legal calls “ doctrine of ripeness”.


On Wednesday, February 28, the parliament of Ghana passed the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill also known as the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill.

The bill prescribes a three-year jail term for identifying as LGBTQ+ and a maximum of five years for the willful promotion, sponsorship, or support of LGBTQ+ activities in the country.

For the newly passed bill to become a full-fledged law, the president, Nana Akufo-Addo must assent to it within seven days of its passage.

On the other hand, if he fails to assent to the bill, parliament can approve it into law by a 2/3 majority vote.

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