Kofi Bentil: Law on party militia unwarranted

The Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, has dismissed as needless the president’s directive to introduce a new law to deal with organised party thugs, insisting that the country has enough laws to deal with the menace that has plagued the government.

Unenthused by the directive, he explained that the president only needed to issue an executive order to state agencies to go tough on militias since it circumvents the ruminating legislative process bills usually go through.

“Under the current law, no one can raise or join an organised criminal group, a person who participates in an activity of an organised criminal group commits an offense,  is liable on conviction to a maximum penalty of death and to a minimum penalty of not less than five years imprisonment.

“Despite the existence of harsh laws, the state has been criticised for picking less punitive charges in dealing with party vigilantes, treating political violence as purely a criminal issue and enforcing the law is vital to addressing the menace.

“It may look very simple but honestly this is the only way out of it, the president’s earlier proposal for an NPP and NDC dialogue over political vigilantism will have no effect on what vigilantes do, I wonder how the NPP and NDC can disband a group which they have both denied forming or controlling,” Mr Bentil pointed out.

He underscored the expected legislative process received on other quarters which the citizenry had cause to worry about the culture of implementation and criticised law enforcement agencies for not doing enough to enforce laws.

The president gave the directive after his proposed talks between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) meet to address the menace, stalled and warned during his State of the Nation Address to parliament, that he could be forced by the failure of the parties to cause the enactment of a bill expected to be more punitive of menacing party thugs. –

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