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Vice Chair for the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, Ebenezer Kojo Kum, says although the call by the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) or the amendment of penalties of the Imposition of Restriction Act 2020 (Act 1012) is worth considering, it should address its concerns to the Attorney General for consideration.
This statement by the law maker comes after the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) called for the amendment of penalties of the Imposition of Restriction Act 2020 (Act 1012).
A new Executive Instrument (E.I. 164) signed by President Akufo-Addo on June 15, 2020made it an offence for refusing to wear a face mask in public and that punishment is a prison sentence of four to 10 years or a fine of GH¢12,000 to GH¢60,000 or both.
This E.I did not go down well with the GBA, which has issued a statement to that effect. A statement signed by the President for the Ghana Bar Association, Anthony Forson, said although punishment needs to be meted out to individuals who flout the law, the penalties of Act 1012 and EI 164 are harsh.
“The GBA is apprehensive that the prisons which are presently congested, may shortly be teeming with convicts who are unable to pay fines imposed by Courts under Section 6 and paragraph 4(2).” A fine of not less than 10 penalty units and not more than 150 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than one month and not more than two years.” the statement said.
But speaking on Atinka FM’s Drive with host Ekourba Gyasi, Vice Chair for the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, Ebenezer Kojo Kum, asked the general public to take interest in all bills that come to Parliament.
He argued that the law was passed in March and has been implemented since May and without concerns.
He noted that GBA has voiced their concerns and that the committee can only have a second look at it after the process has been addressed and subsequently initiated by the Attorney General.
“I will advise that sometimes when we have concerns about a Bill which has been laid in Parliament at the initial stage, that is the right time to raise those concerns because when we got to the sentencing regime in Parliament, the house itself was heated. There was a very heated argument and it was a hell of a time imposing them”, he opined.
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