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General News of Monday, 22 June 2020


GH¢12,000 fine or 4 years jail for not wearing masks is bad law, it will be ignored – Kofi Bentil

Vice President for IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil Vice President for IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil

Legal practitioner and vice president of policy think tank Imani Africa, Kofi Bentil has criticised the law on the wearing of masks, asserting that the inconsiderate nature of it will lead Ghanaians to ignore it.

In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Government of Ghana has been taking drastic measures to ensure that the disease is contained, including making a law that publishes not wearing face masks in public.

The law, an Executive Instrument (E.I. 164) signed into force by President Akufo-Addo on June 15, 2020, is part of hardline measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This EI makes it an offence to refuse to wear a face mask in public.

Punishment for flouting it is a prison sentence of four to ten years or a fine of GH¢12,000 to GH¢60,000 or both.

The E.I. draws its power from the powers granted the President under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012).

Per the law, E.I. 164, gazetted on Monday, June 15, not wearing face masks in public is illegal and the law is in force for three months and shall apply to the whole of Ghana.

But Mr Bentil has described the law as “bad law” which will be ignored, rendering it worthless. He further argued that the law should have made for exceptions such as when one is seated in a car with the air conditioner on.

“When Law doesn’t make sense it will be ignored and worthless".

1. 12k/4 years for not wearing a mask? Is bad law!!

2. One person in an air-conditioned car doesn’t need a mask! The Law Is not such an Ass,” he wrote on Facebook.

Other lawyers such as Martin Kpebu has also described the law as harsh

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