Supreme Court to judge Gitmo case today

CHIEF JUSTICE GEORGINA WOOD.. (2)The Supreme Court will today give its verdict in the case of the two ex-Guantanamo detainees, popularly called the “Gitmo 2 “.

This followed the submission of the Verbal Agreement otherwise referred to as “Note Verbales” in Diplomatic Circles between the Government of Ghana and its American counterpart, to the court on July 12, 2016, by the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Dr. Dominic Ayinne.

The proceedings were held in camera because he “Note verbales”, according to the A-G’s Department, were confidential and their disclosure in public or in an open court would violate section 1 of the State Secrets Act, 1962 (Act 101).

Mrs. Margaret Banful and Henry nana Boakye filed a suit against the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, and Ministry of the Interior on the resettlement of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammed Salih Al-Dhuby in Ghana without recourse to Parliamentary approval of more than one-half of members.

They, therefore, asked the court presided over by Mr. Justice William Atuguba to order the defendants to produce the Agreement which President John Dramani Mahama signed with the American President to host these two Yeminis in Ghana after their release from the Guantanamo Bay Camp in Cuba, where they spent 14 years in detention on terrorism charges.

The plaintiffs who have described the “Gitmo 2” as “high profiled terrorists” fear the continuous stay of Muhammad Bin Atef and Salih Al-Dhuby would threaten the security of this nation and thus put the lives of Ghanaians in perpetual fear.

“The reception of the said detainees into the Republic of Ghana by the President of Ghana is in excess of his powers under the constitution and hence unconstitutional.

“On a true and proper interpretation of Article 58 (2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana is under an obligation to execute and maintain the Anti-terrorism Act of 2008 (Act 762) and the Immigration Act of 2000 (Act 573) being laws passed under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

“That the President of Ghana breached Article 58 (2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana by agreeing with the Government of the United Stated of America to have Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby transferred to the Republic of Ghana.

“An order directed at the President and his assigns, for the immediate removal and return of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby from the Republic of Ghana to Guantanamo Bay”.

The above-mentioned reliefs are being sought from the Supreme Court by Mrs. Banful and Nana Boakye (plaintiffs) which Mr. Justice Atuguba and his panel would rule whether or not President Mahama had broken his Presidential Oath by agreeing to the transfer of the “Gitmo 2” into Ghana to stay for two years.

By Castro Zangina-Tong

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