The Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional an agreement between the then Mahama government and the United States, which saw two Guantanamo Bay detainees brought into the country.
The court, therefore, ordered that the government must within the next three months send the agreement to Parliament for ratification or have the two detainees sent back to the United States.
According to the majority judgment read by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, the then President, John Mahama, needed the approval of the Parliament before entering into any international agreement, just as in the case of the two detainees.
The decision had six justices approving it, with Justice Wiliam Atuguba dissenting.
The two detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who were in detention for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda, were brought to Ghana in 2016, for a period, after which they were expected to be reintegrated in their home countries.
Two Ghanaian citizens, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, together with the Minister of Interior, accusing then-President John Mahama of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.
The plaintiffs were seeking, among other reliefs, a “declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 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.”
Ex-Guantanamo detainees pose no security threat – US Embassy
Ghanaians said government’s decision to host the two was a threat to national security, but Government insisted the two men posed no threat.
In January 2016, the United States Embassy in Ghana, assured Ghanaians that the presence of the two former detainees, posed no threat to the security of the country.
“The two detainees that were transferred to Ghana have already arrived…we don’t have access to the specifics of their whereabouts, you have to go to the government of Ghana for that,” Public Affairs Counselor at the US Embassy in Ghana, Daniel Fennell said. The two Guantanamo bay detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, had been in detention for 14 years, after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda.
By: Fred Djabanor/citifmonline.com/Ghana