Vibrant National Democratic Congress (NDC) communicator and former Member of Parliament for Nantong Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed is raising issues with the “non-liability” clauses in the Ghana-US Military deal ratified by the Majority in parliament.
According to him, differences of law in both countries will create problems as an act seen is normal in America could be a crime in Ghana, citing in particular the law on same sex marriage.
According to him, it would have made sense to grant such immunity to Ambassadors, but not to the entire US Military troops and their contractors which could include mercenaries.
“Under the deal, anybody can travel to Ghana without passport. We have given them powers and even immunity from prosecution for crimes. Even the embassies have different levels of immunity for everyone working in the embassy”, he said.
He was addressing the NDC students wing at the Tamale Technical University campus on Saturday, an event MYNEWSGH.com covered.
“If an ambassador drives a car and knocks down someone, he can’t be held liable whether it is an ambassador in Ghana or the US. But other staff can be prosecuted.”
“There is no where in the Vienna conventions on diplomatic practice and relations that someone can travel without proper documents and be immuned from prosecution for his crimes.”, The former Nantong MP said.
“The danger about this… In some US states, same sex marriage rights are legalized. So if you have an American soldier or a truck driver or any staff come to Ghana and see a young Ghanaian who has a very big anus and he tries to take advantage of the Ghanaian, you cant prosecute the American. Or if they do the thing man to man and they gave to be prosecuted, do you prosecute one and leave the other?”, he asked.
The Minister of Defence Dominic Nitiwul has said that the United States government is not building a Military base in Ghana, and that they (the US) have only asked to make use of some facilities at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and the Tema Port to keep their cargo and other materials they may use during their stay in the country.
The US Embassy corroborated same. But many Ghanaians think otherwise.
Mr Nitiwul added:
“There is no military base anywhere and people are running home with it as if the US has come to establish a base here…it is not true, please,” he stressed.
But according to the agreement, Ghana will provide unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas to the U.S. forces and Contractors, including non-liability clauses that makes Ghana laws inapplicable to offending US troops.
Ghana is also granting free use of our radio spectrum for the United States, something many criticize.
Ghana is entitled to $20 million dollars in aid over a period for the deal, an amount Hassan Ayariga said he was ready to pay to government for the deal to be jilted.