Opinion

Parliament to withdraw vigilantism bill for correction

The Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, 2019 which was passed into law on Monday, will be withdrawn to undergo some changes, Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, Ben Abdallah Banda has said.

According to him, the change will see a correction with one of the clauses to make it consistent with the constitution before it is assented to by the President. 

“There is a provision that says that you could be convicted for a sentence of 5 years and after that, you will be disqualified from contesting any election into a political party office but that will not reflect what the Constitution says. You want to enhance the sentencing regime from 5 years to 10 years in order to bring it in line with what the Constitution says,” Ben Abdallah told pressmen on Wednesday.

This Bill is expected to among other things curtail political thuggery and rid the country’s body politic of rancour.

The Bill was laid amid disagreement from the Minority in Parliament and the National Democratic Congress that argued that a bipartisan engagement which had then been initiated, was the way to go and a better approach to dealing with the vigilantism phenomenon.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, had prior to the approval, applied to the Speaker to have the Memorandum to the Bill amended.

Vigilantism bill

The Bill was tabled before Parliament to help deal with political vigilantism in the aftermath of the violence that occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election after President Akufo-Addo gave a hint of readiness to ensure that a legal framework is instituted to address the phenomenon.

In April, the status of the Vigilantism and Related Offences bill, 2019 caused confused among members of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

But in May, President Akufo-Addo said he will continue to mount pressure on Parliament till the Vigilante and Related Offenses Bill is passed into law.

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