General News of Friday, 28 July 2017
The fate of two former Guantanamo Bay detainees (GITMO-2), whether or not to send them away, has squarely been placed at the doorstep of Parliament after the government sent an agreement to the house for ratification.
Mamud Umar Muhammed Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammed Salih Aldhuby originally from Yemen were controversially brought to Ghana by the US government under the country’s former leader, John Mahama in late 2015.
But the Supreme Court in a majority decision ruled that the circumstance under which the two were brought into the country was unconstitutional.
It subsequently ordered the government to send the agreement to Parliament for ratification within three months from the date of the order or send them back to the United States of America. The government, therefore, submitted the agreement to Parliament for ratification this week.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey on Friday admitted to Parliament that the agreement between Ghana and the United States of America was not properly done.
According to the minister, the agreement was verbal without any formal agreement, which means documents were not signed to that effect.
She was in Parliament to answer a question by the MP for North Tongu Okudzeto Ablakwa about the position of the government on Ghana’s hosting of the two Guantanamo Bay detainees in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision.
According to Ayorkor Botchwey, in pursuant to that, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration submitted a memorandum to Cabinet and obtained executive approval to lay the agreement before Parliament for ratification .
Accordingly, on Wednesday 25th July 2017 the Ministry submitted to the Clerk of Parliament a memorandum seeking ratification of the agreement by a resolution in accordance with article 75 ( 2 ) of the 1992 constitution.
Any other question not directly connected to the issue or intended by any member to create diversion was not allowed by the Speaker of the House, Aaron Mike Ocquaye.