President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo Approves Criminal Offences and Armed Forces Amendments.
President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has given his assent to the Criminal Offences Amendment Act, 2023, and the Armed Forces Amendment Act, 2023, both recently passed by Parliament. These laws replace the death penalty with life imprisonment.
The official approval took place on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.
The series of events leading to this development started with the passage of the Criminal and Other Offenses (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and the Armed Forces (Amendment) Bill, 2022, by the Ghanaian Parliament on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, and Thursday, July 27, 2023, respectively. The key proponent of these amendments is Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, a Member of Parliament representing the Madina Constituency and the deputy Ranking Member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee. These changes have garnered significant international attention for being historically significant in the realm of human rights.
These proposals had garnered substantial support from various stakeholders, including the President of Ghana, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Police and Prison Services, Civil Society Organizations, Religious Organizations, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and the Diplomatic Community, among others.
As a result of the amendments, Ghana now stands as the 29th African nation to eliminate the death penalty for ordinary offenses from its legal framework. The efforts to substitute life imprisonment for the death penalty align with the recommendations of the 2010 Constitutional Review Commission Report and subsequent Government White Paper. These changes signify strides toward achieving an open, progressive, inclusive, and secure society, as envisioned by Mr. Sosu and various stakeholders.