Supreme Court to rule on controversial Ghana-US military agreement May 5

The Supreme Court will on May 5, 2020, deliver judgement in a suit challenging Ghana’s military cooperation agreement with the United States of America (USA).

The case was adjourned to April 22, for judgement, but the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, who presided over a seven-member panel of judges yesterday said, the panel could not have conference because of the lockdown.

The defence agreement would among other things allow the US military and civilian personnel access to certain facilities in Ghana and provide them privileges, exemptions and immunities equivalent to those accorded to the administrative and technical staff of diplomatic mission under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.

Ghana is expected to benefit from aid package in excess of $20 million from the USA in the areas of training and grant.

Mr Yaw Brogya Gyamfi, Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who filed the writ, is asking that the agreement be nullified as the ratification by Parliament was unconstitutional.

The applicant argued that the agreement was invalid, because the President of Ghana failed to execute the agreement, as prescribed by article 75 of the 1992 Constitution, before sending it to Parliament for ratification.

The writ, filed on Monday, March 26, 2018, has Miss Gloria Akuffo, Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul, as first and second defendants.

According to Mr Gyamfi, the government appointees breached several laws in their bid to have the controversial Ghana-US military agreement ratified.

He is, therefore, asking for a declaration that the Minister of Defence acted in contravention of articles 58(1), 75 and 93(2) of the 1992 Constitution, when he laid or caused to be laid before Parliament an unexecuted draft of the supposed defence cooperation agreement for ratification under article 75 of the 1992 Constitution.

The applicant contended that neither the executive nor the legislature had the power to enter or ratify a treaty that sought to oust the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in matters of interpretation of international agreements.  


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