Parliamentary committee starts deliberation on Gitmo 2 agreement

General News of Friday, 28 July 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2017-07-28

Gitmo 1Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has asked Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee to deliberate on the agreement between Ghana and the United States to host two former Gitmo detainees in Ghana.

Professor Oquaye took the decision on Thursday, July 27 after the Gitmo Bill was tabled in the house.

The Supreme Court asked the John Mahama administration to send an agreement between Ghana and the United States on the two former terror suspects to Parliament for ratification.

The agreement between the two countries allowed the transfer of the two ex-detainees to Ghana in January 2016.

The Supreme Court had ruled that it was unconstitutional for the transfer to have taken place without Parliament’s approval.

The apex court, therefore, ordered that the anomaly be rectified within three months or the ex-detainees be returned to the US.

A seven-member panel chaired by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo reached the ruling by a 6 – 1 majority, with only Justice William Atuguba dissenting.

Background

Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Minister of the Interior in 2016, accusing government of illegally bringing in the two ex-detainees without recourse to the laws of the land.

The two plaintiffs, therefore, sought a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana arguing that Mr Mahama as President acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby without recourse to Parliament.

The two ex-detainees are expected to be in the country for two years.

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