Gitmo 2: Gov’t backtracks as AG says there’s an agreement
Government through the AG has made a sharp departure from their earlier position that the decision to bring in the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees was purely a ‘diplomatic arrangement exercised through an executive power by the President’.
In a latest development, the AG has made a U-turn by conceding that there exists an agreement between Ghana and the USA regarding the two former detainees. The AG, at paragraph 3 of page 7 of its statement of case filed on the 16th of March 2016, stated that ” … we admit that there exists an agreement between the two Governments, which was reached by the exchange of confidential diplomatic notes otherwise known as Note Verbales”.
It will be recalled that when this matter first broke, government officials had posited that the president brought in the two former detainees by exercising his executive power. With this current U-turn, it is expected that lawyers for the applicants would be seeking to request that the said agreement be made available to them for scrutiny.
The writ with suit number J1/7/2016 was filed by Magret Bamfo, an 86-year-old retired Conference Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Henry Nana Boakye, a student of Ghana School of Law through their lawyer Nana Agyei Baffuor Awuah of DE MEDEIROS and Associates.
They are seeking among other reliefs a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby (both profiled terrorists and former detainees of Guantanamo Bay) to the Republic of Ghana without the ratification by an Act of Parliament or a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the members of Parliament.
They further seek a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 58(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana who is under an obligation to execute and maintain laws of Ghana breached the Anti-terrorism Act of 2008 (Act 762) and the Immigration Act of 2000 (Act 573), both being laws passed under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The matter, before the Supreme Court, stands adjourned to the 26th of April 2016.