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Politics Fri, 8 May 2020

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I’m disappointed with the outcome of the Ghana-US Military Agreement suit – Brogya Genfi

Member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) communications team, Brogya Genfi has expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the Ghana-US Military Agreement ruling by the Supreme Court.

His reaction comes after the Supreme Court on May 5, unanimously upheld Ghana's military cooperation agreement with the United States of America as legal.

Speaking to GhanaWeb on the back of the verdict, Brogya Genfi said he is unhappy with the outcome which implies the case has no merit.

“The process went on fairly. We had our day in court. We filed our cases, even though it spanned two years before the Supreme Court gave the ruling. Only that I am disappointed with the outcome of the case.”

“The court threw the case out of court because it believed the suit had no merit, but we are yet to be furnished with the reasons behind the decision so we know our next step,” he indicated.

In the year 2018, Brogya Genfi sued the government over its defence cooperation agreement with the United States.

Amongst a host of issues, he prayed the Court to “set aside” the agreement on grounds that it was “not in the national interest of Ghana, and contravenes articles (1 (2), 2, 11, 33, 125, 135, 140, 75 and 73 of the 1992 constitution,” he demanded.

Additionally, he asked for a declaration that the “ratification by Parliament of the supposed agreement between Ghana and the Government of United States of America on Defence Cooperation, the Status of United States Forces, and Access to and use of agreed facilities and areas in the Republic of Ghana (hereinafter referred to as Defence Co-operation Agreement) on March 24, 2018, when the supposed agreement had not been executed by the President or person authorized by the President as provided for by Article 75 of the 1992 constitution, is contrary to the said Article 75 of the 1992 constitution and same is null and void.”

Thousands of Ghanaians rallied in the streets of Accra in 2018 to protest a deal that would give the United States military an expanded role in Ghana.

As part of the agreement struck, the United States would invest about $20 million in equipment and training for the Ghanaian military, carrying out joint exercises with Ghana and using the nation’s radio channels and runways.

Ghanaian officials said the agreement was an extension of a two-decades-long relationship between the United States and Ghana.

“It’s the same arrangement we’ve had in times past,” said Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the deputy minister of information. He said that resistance to the deal was largely driven by the political motivations of opposition lawmakers.

Officials in the American Embassy in Accra also emphasized that there were no plans to create a base in Ghana or to permanently station American troops in the country, one of the continent’s most stable democracies.

But details of the agreement, circulated in Ghana, include giving Americans access to Ghanaian radio frequencies and an airport runway among other things. Ghanaian officials said those aspects had been in place during previous joint military exercises.

Other details of the agreement, like immunity for American soldiers on Ghanaian soil and tax exemptions for the import of military equipment, are reciprocal and can be requested by the Ghanaian military when its troops travel to the United States for training, American officials said. They noted that American soldiers were not exempt from military disciplinary procedures.

The agreement “does not give the United States carte blanche to come in and act unrestricted in Ghana,” a statement from the American Embassy in Accra indicated.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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