The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has indicated, the Akufo-Addo administration has not altered the formal agreement between Ghana and the United States over the two Guantanamo Bay detainees being hosted in the country.
She was responding to a query from the ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
“Mr. Speaker, we have not changed anything in the notes verbales that were exchanged between the two countries. Indeed, there was no agreement. The whole transaction was done through what we call a note verbale from both sides. What we have done is to attach all those documents.”
The two detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who were in detention for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda, were brought to Ghana in 2016, for a period, after which they were expected to be reintegrated in their home countries.
The move was however condemned by many including the now-governing New Patriotic Party, who described them as a security threat.
At the time, the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea, said Nana Akufo-Addo, would have turned down a request by the United States government for Ghana to host two former detainees of Guantanamo Bay in the country if he were President.
Two Ghanaian citizens, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, together with the Minister of Interior, accusing then-President John Mahama of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.
The plaintiffs were seeking, among other reliefs, a “declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby.”
The Supreme Court, in June, in its judgment on the matter, ordered that the agreement covering the resettlement be submitted to Parliament for ratification or otherwise, failing which the two ex-detainees would be repatriated.
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