SC delivers judgment on “Gitmo 2” case tomorrow

Chief  Justice Mrs  Theodora Georgina  Wood

Chief Justice Mrs Theodora Georgina Wood

The Supreme Court (SC) will deliver judgment on the case of the two ex-Guantanamo detainees popularly called “Gitmo 2”, tomorrow.

Mr. Justice William Atuguba, president of the seven-member panel of judges, fixed Wednesday, April 26, 2017, as the final date for the Apex Court to dispose of the matter when it was slated for hearing on February 8, 2017.

The suit was filed in February 2016, by two Ghanaians, Mrs. Margaret Banful, a retired staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and Mr. Henry Nana Boakye from Buokrom Estates, Kumasi, against the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, and the Ministry of the Interior for accepting Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby (all Yeminis) in Ghana after their release from the Guantanomo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba.

The plaintiffs harbour the fear that the circumstances that led to the incarceration of the “Gitmo 2” for 14 years without trial in Cuba as terrorists, had the tendency of threatening national security and should, therefore, be taken back to where they came from.

Speaking through their lawyer, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah, they (plaintiffs) maintained that the former President, John Dramani Mahama acted unconstitutionally when he entered into the agreement known in the diplomatic circles as “Note Verbales” (Verbal agreement) with the former U.S. President, Barack Obama without recourse to Parliament.

They pleaded with the Supreme Court to order the Attorney-General to produce the said agreement before it to ascertain its authenticity following the assertion by the Acting Solicitor-General, Mrs. Helen Ziwu, that the  document was “confidential” and that its open disclosure in the court room violated section one (1) of the State Secretes Act, 1962 (Act 101).

Mr. Justice Atuguba went ahead and ordered that the document be produced but its contents would be studied in camera, and this was done when the former Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine complied with the instruction as issued.

The court concluded that there was no security risk with regard to the document and that the trial would take its normal course.

The two are staying in the country on the basis of a diplomatic agreement between the government of Ghana and the government of the United States of America.

By Castro Zangina-Tong    

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