Parliament is divided over the contents of the Intestate Succession Bill which is currently under consideration before it.


The Bill, which was laid before the House on November 3, 2009 and referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report, seeks a more responsive approach to the needs of nuclear families whose parents and spouses die intestate. When passed, the bill will replace the Intestate Succession Act, 1985 (PNDC Law 111).

According to the memorandum accompanying the bill, its objective will be to make the intestate succession regime more responsive to the needs of the immediate family of persons who die intestate. The Bill will also provide a uniform intestate succession that will be applied throughout the country irrespective of the inheritance system of the intestate and the type of marriage contracted.
The memorandum, also says that the present law on intestate succession appears to be overtaken by changes in the Ghanaian family system.

In its deliberation, the committee observed that intestate succession and its attendant socio-legal issues continued to pose challenges largely due to the pluralistic nature of the family law system of the country.
It said after over 28 years of the coming into force of PNDCL 111, there were still difficulties in its implementation due to the increasing importance of the nuclear family.
The committee?s report said some key issues that emerged during deliberations, particularly during the public hearings, had been addressed in the bill.

But portions of the bill, is dividing the Legislators as it was taken through second reading on Thursday.
Contributing to the debate on the motion, most of the MP?s lauded the idea behind the new bill and noted that it will further prevent surviving spouses and their children from being subjected to inhumane conditions the extended families of deceased persons.

However, there were some dissenting views who urged the MP?s to take a critical look at the bill and argued that the bill gives much greater freedom and power to women.

One of such MP?s, the Daboya/Mankarigu Legislator, Nelson Abudu Baani noted that the Bill in its entirety is discriminatory in nature and tilted in favor of women, so called for its rejection.
?I went through the whole bill and I saw that it is favoring only one side that is the ladies. So I decided that it should be rejected for now so that we make the necessary amendments….I would wish that we do enough due diligence before passing this bill,? he said.

Mr Baani also expressed worry at how an unfaithful wife and her ?bastard? children could be granted access to the property of a deceased, even though it would be against the dead person?s wish.

?They should amend the law so that any lady who leaves the husband and goes outside, and later the family has a hint that he wasn?t faithful they should be able to go for a DNA test and then go to court to punish her.?
Speaking to Live News? Parliamentary Correspondent, Ekow Annan, Mr Baani also advocated for the death penalty to be meted to those who commit acts of infidelity in a marriage relationship especially women.

?They should punish the woman for faking in the marriage. That is why I am against kicking against the passage now. Cheating women should be sentenced to death by hanging. I am not callous, after I stay with you, I provide everything for you, and you still go outside me, what do you think, should be done to that person?? he quizzed.

Ekow Annan/Live FM
[email protected]/twitter: ekowskare


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