The Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional the admission of two GITMO detainees into Ghana during the John Mahama administration.
A seven-member Supreme Court panel presided over by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo by six to one (6 -1) majority decision said the GITMO two being in the country is illegal since the then government allowed them into the country without prior approval by Parliament.
The Supreme Court decision would seem to pave the way for the Akufo-Addo and the NPP to live up to their position that they do not want the GITMO 2 in Ghana.
It would be recalled that at the time the GITMO 2 issue was raging in the country, the Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, stated the party’s flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, would have turned down a request by the United States government for Ghana to host the two former detainees if he [Akufo-Addo] were in power.
These are the words of Nana Akomea, “the government of Kufuor wouldn’t have taken these people in at all in the first place. Government of Nana Akufo-Addo would not have taken them in. His reason will be the same reason that Ghanaians have given. If America won’t, why do we want to take the things America doesn’t want. Are we a dumping ground?”
Indeed, the New Patriotic Party, citing concerns over possible terrorist attacks on Ghana, issued a statement condemning the decision of the Mahama administration to host the GITMO 2 at the request of the US and urged the Mahama administration to return the detainees to the custody of the United States.
With the very strong positions taken by Akufo-Addo and the NPP, it is only to be expected that the government would return the detainees to the US.
In a release signed by Information Minister, Hon. Mustapha Abdul Hamid, the Akuf0-Addo government said it “has taken notice of the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on Thursday, 22nd June, 2017, by a 6-1 majority, in the matter of MargaretteBanful& Henry Nana BoakyeVrs Attorney General.”
“In the judgment, the Apex Court, presided over by new Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, has held that the agreement between the Governments of Ghana and the United States of America, for the resettlement of two (2) ex-detainees from Guantanamo Bay, required parliamentary approval in accordance with Article 75 (2) of the Constitution, and a failure to secure same makes the hosting of the two ex-detainees in Ghana unconstitutional,” the release further stated.
Continuing, the statement reads, “consequently, the Court has instructed that the agreement be given parliamentary approval within three (3) months or the ex-detainees deported out of Ghana upon a failure by Parliament to ratify the agreement.”
“Government,” the statement further stated,“wants to assure the nation that the ex-detainees, who have been comporting themselves well since their arrival in Ghana, continue to be under the supervision of the security agencies.”
“Government is going to take prompt steps to address the consequential orders. In the meantime, Government is calling for calm amongst the populace on this matter,” the statement concluded.
The dilemma confronting Akufo-Addo and his team now is how to get the two-thirds of Members of Parliament to ratify the agreement seeing as the NPP’s majority in Parliament does not add up to the required two-thirds of the membership.
With the Vice President Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia having openly insulted the Minority MPs as ignorant, it is not conceivable that many of the Minority MPs would be amenable to lend their support to the NPP.
In the foreseeable event that Parliament is unable to ratify the agreement within three months as ordered by the Supreme Court, Akufo-Addo and his team would have no option that to deport the GITMO 2 as ordered by the country’s apex court.