On Thursday, May 11, 2023, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel Nartey George, stated on Accra-based Joy FM that the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice has completely changed his stance on the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill.
The lawmaker’s statement was made in response to the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who had stated that if parliament approves the Bill in its present state, he would recommend that the President reconsiders assenting to it.
The A-G says his position is because some portions of the Bill contravene the 1992 Constitution.
“I think I expressed a view on it and for me, my honest and sincerest view, which is public is that any law which imposes a charge on the public purse must emanate from the president or from a person on behalf of the president. That is the clear details of Article 108 of the Constitution. If it [the Bill] still has financial implications, my advice clearly will be that the Constitution must be respected and parliament’s attention would have to be drawn to the fact that there are these financial implications for the taxpayer and for the Consolidated Fund. And for that matter, parliament would have to take a second look at it.”
However, the Ningo Prampram MP, disagrees and says the A-G has shifted goal post on the issue ever since he appeared before the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Claim: “The Attorney-General must stay focused. I’m struggling to appreciate what appears to be flip-flopping on the part of the Attorney General. Because I asked the Attorney-General a direct question when he appeared before the committee and he said he was satisfied that the bill, in its current form or shape, met all the requirements.”
Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and presents the details below.
Explanation: A copy of the memoranda the A-G submitted to Parliament, which is available to Fact-Check Ghana, clearly stated the A-G position.
“I am of the view that the Bill may hold financial implications for the State, particularly regarding:
- the collective responsibility of citizens, educational institutions, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary to promote the values enshrined in the Bill, under clause 3 of the Bill,
- The payment of medical assistance or therapy by an approved service provider under subclause (6) of clause 19, clause 20 and 23 of the Bill would also have financial implications for the executive.
- the provision of prison facilities for persons convicted of an offence to serve their terms of imprisonment in clauses 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, and 25 of the Bill.
Thus, the passage of the Bill is subject to subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (a) of article 108 of the Constitution.”
Additionally, the report of Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs’ on the Bill pointed out that the Attorney-General had expressed some misgivings about the Bill.
Signed by the committee’s chairman, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, in March 2023, the report noted that:
“Preliminary concerns were expressed by some concerned Ghanaians, and same was expressed by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, in relation to aspects of the Bill which appear to impose a charge on the Consolidated Fund, in contravention with Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution.”
Provisions in the Bill are likely to impose a charge on the Consolidated Fund, in contravention to the provisions of Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution.”
The report further noted that “The Committee wishes to indicate that the concerns of the Attorney-General have been taken care of in the Committee’s proposed amendments.”
From the above, it is clear that Sam George’s claim that the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has completely changed his views on the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill is false.
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