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 two are illegally in the country since the then government allowed them into the country without prior approval by Parliament.
The consequential order of the court is that government should within three months subject the agreement to parliamentary consideration and approval and in default return the two Gitmo detainees.
Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye last year sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Minister of Interior, accusing government of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.
The two plaintiffs were therefore seeking a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The applicants claim that 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 to Ghana.
Article 75 says: “(1) The President may execute or cause to be executed treaties, agreements or conventions in the name of Ghana.
“(2) A treaty, agreement or convention executed by or under the authority of the President shall be subject to ratification by-
“(a) Act of Parliament; or
“(b) a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than on-half of all the members of Parliament.”
Two Guantanamo bay detainees, Atef and Al-Dhuby had been in detention for 14 years by the United States after being linked with the terrorist group Al-Qaeda.
The Supreme court said the agreement reached by the the government of Ghana and the United States was one that falls directly under the purview of the provisions of Article 75 of the 1992 constitution and the then government ought to have sought parliamentary approval before the two detainees were admitted into the country.