A ranking member on Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Inusah Fuseini, has said president Akuffo Addo breached the law by prescribing penalty for not wearing face mask.
According to Mr Fuseini, E.I. 164 breaches the law because a section of the Instrument assumes the law-making function of Parliament.
“The President has no right to penalise. That is the long-standing principle of law,” he told Accra-based Citi FM.
President Akuffo Addo signed the E.I on June 15, 2020 to enforce the mandatory wearing of face mask by all Ghanaians.
“A person who fails to comply with the restrictions imposed under the Executive Instrument issued under subsection 1 of Section 2 commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 1,000 penalty unit (Gh¢12,000) and not more than 5,000 penalty units (Gh¢ 60,000) or to a term of imprisonment not less than four years and not more than 10 years or to both,” a section of the law reads.
Section 4 (1) of the E.I. 164 states that the police have the authority to make random checks to “ensure enforcement compliance”.
However, Mr Fuseini thinks the penalties prescribed in the E.I. are misplaced.
“You remember the first time the President brought the Imposition of Restrictions Bill, the President sought to arrogate himself the power to determine [certain restrictions] for persons under the Bill. That was resisted by Parliament. That was why we created a function called offences and penalty and so it is the sole preserve of Parliament to penalise and not that of the President. That is a long-standing principle of law,” he explained.