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A-G Begs for Time Over USA, Ghana Deal

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The Supreme Court has granted the application for extension of time filed by the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo in the suit challenging Ghana’s military cooperation agreement with the United States of America.

The court presided over by a single judge Justice Gabriel Pwamang however handed the AG seven days to file the statement of case in the matter.

This was after lawyer for the applicant Elikpilim, Agbemevah had not opposed the AG’s request for extension of time.

Yaw Brogya Genfi the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is in court asking that the agreement be nullified as the ratification by Parliament, in his opinion, is unconstitutional.

The defence agreement allows 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 a diplomatic mission under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.

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

However, Mr. Genfi in his suit says the agreement is 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 the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo and Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul as the first and second defendants.

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

He is demanding nine reliefs from the court including;

“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 NDC member said neither the Executive of the legislature has the power to enter or ratify a treaty that seeks to oust the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in matters of interpretation of international agreements.

Even though the agreement was ratified amidst drama and chaos, Mr Gyamfi wants the justices to annul the agreement.

A Principal State Attorney who represented the AG on Thursday made an application for extension of time to enable the AG to file her response.

By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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