General News Sat, 24 Jun 2017
Nana Agyei Baffour-Awuah, lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Gitmo Two case, has indicated that the Supreme Court ruling has entrenched Ghana’s democracy.According to him, the controversy over what agreements should go to parliament and those that should not, with respect to the executive arm of government, has been settled by the apex court’s ruling.
The Supreme Court of Ghana has declared that it was unconstitutional for President John Mahama to have allowed the United States to bring two former Guantanamo Bay detainees to Ghana.
A seven-member panel chaired by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo reached the ruling by a 6-1 majority, with only Justice William Atuguba dissenting on Thursday, June 22.
It will be recalled that two plaintiffs, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Minister of the Interior in 2016, accusing government of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees without recourse to the laws of the land.
The two plaintiffs, therefore, sought a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana arguing that Mr Mahama as President acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby without recourse to Parliament.
Mr Baffuor-Awuah, speaking on TV3’s New Day on Saturday June 24, said: “What was of importance to us in this matter was to settle the controversy, because if you recall there was the divergent view that it didn’t require parliamentary approval and so we wanted to settle that first and foremost and then ensure that the due process of law in this country was complied with.
“That for us was important. It is going to advance the democratic cause of this country. When this decision was made, I said that such cases were very important in advancing and entrenching our democracy and so basically that was our objective.
“I think that now it is settled that there is no distinction as to what agreement should go to parliament and what shouldn’t go to parliament and that the Executive would have to comply with that, failing which they will have to face the consequence.”