Ghana Supreme Court orders govt to explain U.S. military deal
By Staff Reporter
The Supreme Court has given Attorney General Gloria Akuffo seven days to respond to a suit challenging Ghana’s military cooperation agreement with the United States of America.
The Ashanti Regional youth organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Yaw Brogya Genfi, is in court asking that the agreement be nullified as the ratification by Parliament, in their opinion, was 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 an aid package in excess of $20 million from the USA in the areas of training and grants.
But, in the suit, Genfi 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 Attorney General Akuffo and defence minister Dominic Nitiwul as the first and second defendants.
According to Genfi, 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 or 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, Genfi 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 file her response.
Justice Gabriel Pwamang, who is hearing the case as a sole Judge gave the AG seven days to file the statement of case.