The Minority in parliament has chastised government over its failure to bring the agreement allowing the two ex-GITMO detainees to stay in the country before parliament for ratification.
The Supreme Court last year declared as unconstitutional the admission of the two—Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby – into the country by the erstwhile Mahama administration.
The decision to host the detainees in Ghana provoked a firestorm of controversy and outrage among Ghanaians, with many expressing fear that the move would undermine Ghana’s internal security and expose the country to attacks from religious extremists.
A seven-member Supreme Court panel presided over by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo by a six to one (6 -1) majority decision said the two are illegally staying in the country since the then government allowed them into the country without prior approval by Parliament.
The consequential order of the court was that government should within three months subject the agreement to parliamentary consideration and approval and in default return the two ex-detainees.
But some seven months down the line, the government headed by President Akufo-Addo is yet to put before parliament the agreement allowing the stay of the two GITMO ex-detainees in the country — in breach of the ruling of the Supreme Court.
“The Executives should be seen respecting the court of Ghana. In deed the Supreme Court. The ruling was 22nd June, 2017…by Sophia Akuffo now the Chief Justice of the republic. Mr. Speaker, in that ruling it was emphatic that within ninety days…and Mr. Speaker within ninety days this parliament has not ratified anything in respect of that matter,” bemoaned the leader of the Minority, Haruna Iddrisu.
According to him, the government’s apparent disinterest in upholding the instructions of the court is a clear disregard for rule of law.
“Mr. Speaker,” he said “we are raising the matter because the president [Akufo-Addo] swears an oath to uphold the constitution and the laws of Ghana [and] rulings of the Supreme Court [are] law.”
“He cannot be seen disrespecting it,” stressed Iddrisu, adding “it is a mandatory requirement of the president. Yes, in the ruling the previous government headed by President Mahama erred which they corrected. That judgement must be respected. You either bring it [agreement] for ratification or you send them home.”