Farmer sues to stop LGBTQ+ Bill passage until……

A farmer, Paul Boama-Sefa, has filed a suit seeking an order restraining the Speaker of Parliament from proceeding with any processes related to the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021 Bill, which also referred to as LGBTQ+ Bill.

The suit suggested that the process should not take place until the statutory provisions of section 100(1) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) are complied with.

Mr Boama-Sefa, the plaintiff, also joined the Attorney General  (A-G) to the suit, seeking an order directing the Speaker, his deputies, his agents, assigns and privies to ensure compliance with section 100(1) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) before any further steps were taken in respect of the Bill.

The suit also sought a perpetual Injunction restraining the defendants from further breaches of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).

The plaintiff averred that, sometime in 2021, the Promotion of the Bill was presented to the Speaker by eight Members of Parliament (MPs) as a Private Members’ Bill.

It averred that, subsequently the Bill was laid in Parliament on June 21, 2021, by these MPs, namely: Samuel Nartey George, MP for Ningo-Prampram, Dela Adjoa Sowah, MP for Kpando, Emmanuel Bedzrah, MP for Ho West, and Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, MP for Tamale North.

The rest are Helen Adjoa Ntoso, MP for Krachi West, Rita Naa Odoley Sowah, MP for La Dadekotopon, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, MP for South Dayi, and John Ntim Fordjour, MP for Assin South.

The Plaintiff averred that, by a letter, the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of Parliament (the “Committee”) requested the Attorney General to “provide the Government’s position on the Promotion of the Bill.”

Mr Boama-Sefa averred that by a letter, dated October19, 2022, the A-G provided his response to the Committee.

The plaintiff further said the letter by the AG detailed the Government’s official position on the Bill, including the need to protect human rights and adhere to the statutory requirements for laying a Private Members’ Bill in Parliament.

Mr Boama-Sefa averred that in the said letter, the AG said: “It is observed that the Bill is not accompanied by a fiscal impact analysis required by section 100(1) of Act 921. The stipulation in section 100(1) of Act 921 is rendered more imperative by the character of the Bill as a private members Bill.”

The plaintiff said that the non-compliance with the statutory requirements relating to the laying of the Bill and the complete disregard of the A-G’s advice, indicated an intention by the Speaker not to comply with the express provisions of Act 921 and by extension the laws of Ghana.

Article 100 of the 1992 Constitution gives authority and empowers the Speaker, as the person presiding over Parliament, to manage and direct the affairs of Parliament. – GNA

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