Confusion at Parliament’s Constitution Committee meeting over status of anti-vigilantism Bill
The status of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, 2019 caused tension among members of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
While Chairman of the Committee, Ben Abdallah maintained that the committee was considering the Bill and was awaiting inputs from stakeholders, the Ranking Member, Inusah Fuseini said nothing has been done about the Bill.
Mr. Inusah Fuseini was of the view that President Akufo-Addo was out of touch with reality over the Bill.
Inusah Fuseiniwho is also the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, in an interview with Citi News, said although all committee members at the meeting agreed to treat the bill as urgent, Government through the Attorney General has done nothing to ensure the passage of the Bill.
He said, “absolutely nothing, is happening on the Bill.”
“It is a priority for Government because the government had come to Parliament through Attorney General under certificate of urgency. All the committee members accepted the position of Government, that it was important to deal with the canker of vigilantism and that it could be a threat to our democracy and that we should not under any circumstance tolerate impunity."
"So we accepted that the Bill hasn’t come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency requiring of us to wave the requirements under article 106 2B which mandates the Attorney General to gazette the Bill which requires 14 days notice.”
“So when we went for the committee meeting, we all agreed that let’s accept the Bill as a Bill of urgent nature. Nothing is happening, absolutely nothing is happening on the Bill in Parliament. If you hear a comment on the Bill, it is a footnote. The President is out of touchm,” he added.
Chairman of the Committee Mr. Ben Abdallah in defending the progress his committee has made on the bill said that although the Bill is urgent, he has not set any timelines for the passage of the Bill into law.
“Much as the vigilantism Bill is urgent, we haven’t given ourselves any time limitation period within which the vigilantism Bill must be passed into law. Because it was brought to the House under a certificate of urgency, at times I find it difficult to give timelines because I am not in the position to give timelines because I don’t have that the capacity.”
Parliament today [30th April 2019] was in session as part of a four day period after its recall from recess to mainly work on the Companies Bill and other urgent Bills.