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The Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says the entire country is waiting to see if the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will send the two Guantanamo Bay detainees back to the American government to fulfill their campaign pledge to Ghanaians.
In 2016, then President of the land, John Dramani Mahama reached an agreement with the American Government to host two Guantanamo Bay detainees who were released with aim of reforming and helping them integrate into society.
The two detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby had been in detention for 14 years by the United States of America after being linked with the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda.
However, the candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, declared their stay in Ghana as unlawful and urged Mr. Mahama to return to return them.
He promised during the 2016 electioneering campaign to return the two Guantanamo Bay detainees should Ghanaians give the NPP the mandate to govern the nation.
Following this, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, aka, Nana B, sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Minister for the Interior, accusing government of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of Ghana.
The two plaintiffs were therefore seeking a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The applicants claim then President of the land acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby to Ghana.
On Thursday, June 22, 2017, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment declaring as unconstitutional the Government of Ghana’s agreement with the US Government that saw the two Gitmo detainees brought into the country.
The Supreme Court held the view that then President of the land by agreeing to the transfer of the two Guantanamo detainees should have sought the ratification of the agreement by Parliament with a vote of more than one-half of all the members of Parliament.
It therefore ordered the government to within the next three months send the agreement to Parliament for ratification or in lieu of that decision return the two detainees to the US Government.
However, Okudjeto Ablakwa, interacting with Akwasi Nsiah, over the Supreme Court’s ruling on Kasapa 102.5 FM, said it remains to be seen whether President Akufo-Addo will carry out his pledge made to the Ghanaian electorate during the 2016 electioneering campaign.
Nevertheless, Mr. Ablakwa cautioned the government to be careful in implementing the Court’s decision in order not to cause any anger to actors involved in the matter.