Judgement on Gitmo 2, April 26

Ms Gloria Akuffo, Attorney General

Ms Gloria Akuffo, Attorney General

The Supreme Court yesterday gave April 26, 2017, as the date it will deliver judgement on the case of the two ex-Guantanamo detainees presently staying in Ghana.

The two were admitted into the country following a diplomatic agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the United States of America.

Two Ghanaians, Mrs. Margaret Banful, 86, a retired staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Henry Nana Boakye, filed a suit against the Attorney-General and the Ministry of the Interior, for accepting Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Ahuby, otherwise referred to as the “Gitmo 2,” into the country after their release from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba.

The plaintiffs viewed the two Yemeni’s as terrorists whose continuous stay in Ghana was a threat to national security and should be taken back to where they came from.
According to them, the former President John Dramani Mahama, acted unconstitutionally when he entered into an agreement with the former U.S President Barack Obama, without recourse to Parliament.

They further averred that the unilateral decision by the former president could put Ghana in danger, considering the background of the “Gitmo 2” who were arrested and detained in Cuba for 14 years without trial for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities.

And to ascertain the existence and the authenticity of the Agreement entered into between the two nations which is known in the Diplomatic Circles as “Note Verbales,” Mrs. Banful and Nana Boakye, asked the court to order the Attorney-General to produce the document.

But the Acting Solicitor-General, Mrs. Helen Ziwu, reacted and said that the disclosure of the contents of the Agreement Violated section 1 of the State Secrets Act, 1962 (Act 101) since it was confidential.

But Mr. Justice William Atuguba, president of the seven-member panel of judges insisted and ordered that the document be produced to the court in chambers.

This order was complied with and the then Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Dr. Dominic Ayine together with Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah, Chief State Attorney and Ms. Zeynab Ayariga, graciously produced the document to the judges in chambers for perusal.

And after carefully scrutinising the document, Mr. Justice Atuguba concluded that the disclosure of the Agreement would not violate the State Secrets Act and said the case would take its normal cause.

Mr. Justice Atuguba told the parties yesterday that judgement would be delivered on April 26, 2017.

By Castro Zangina-Tong

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