31.07.2006 Press Release

Gov't Owes No Apologies Says AG

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Government says it has no apology to render anyone for masterminding the controversial amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code to ban the granting of bail to narcotics drug suspects.

Deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Hon. Osei Kwame Prempeh, in an interview with CITI NEWS said that government believes that the amendment is a sure way to clamp down on what he calls the "dangerous outbreak" of drug trafficking in the country.

The Ghana Bar Association had publicly opposed the move, with some members threatening to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court since, according to them, the amendment contradicts some provisions of the 1992 constitution.

The Bill, which was laid before the House under a certificate of urgency on Thursday night, was passed on Friday, despite serious opposition from certain Minority elements.

Hon. Osei Kwame Prempeh, told CITI NEWS soon after the bill was passed that whoever feels aggrieved by the passage of the bill can go to court to test the constitutionality or otherwise of the move.

He insisted that government believes the move offends no provision in the 1992 constitution.

Critics have warned that the amendment could compound the problem of congestion in the nation's cells and jail houses, especially as a significant number of Ghanaians use and sell marijuana, one of the banned substances captured under the amendment.

Hon. Osei Kwame Prempeh told CITI NEWS that it is a matter of choice for drug peddlers to continue their illegal trade and face the consequences, or turn a new leaf and be spared the troubles of the law.

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