SC To Hear GITMO 2 Case Tomorrow

The Supreme Court will tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1, commence the hearing of a case in which two persons – Margaret Bamful, an 86 year old retired officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Henry Nana Boakye, a student of the Ghana Law School – have filed a suit against the Attorney General and Minister for the Interior against the importation of the two Guantanamo Bay detainees into the country.

Madam Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye about a month ago filed a case against the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Minister of Interior accusing President John Mahama of illegally bringing the two former Gitmo detainees into the country, without regards to the laws of the land.

Unfortunately, both the Attorney General and the Minister of Interior have still not filed their defense to the suit, as at the time of going to press yesterday.  The action of the two defendants thus constitutes a breach of the Supreme Court Rules, 1996 (C.I 16) which gives a defendant who has been served with a writ and statement of case 14 days to file a response.

A search conducted at the registry of the Supreme Court, on February 9, 2016, revealed that the Attorney General and Minister of Interior were duly served with the plaintiffs’ statement of case on January 22, 2016.  The Supreme Court has further served on the two defendants a hearing notice, informing them that with or without their appearance, the case shall be called for hearing tomorrow.

The plaintiffs are seeking among other reliefs a “declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the1992 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 (both profiled terrorists and former detainees of Guantanamo Bay) to the Republic of Ghana, without the ratification by an Act of Parliament or a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the members of Parliament.”

They are further seeking a “declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 58(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana, who is under an obligation to execute and maintain the laws of Ghana breached the Anti-terrorism Act of 2008 (Act 762) and the Immigration Act of 2000 (Act 573), both being laws passed under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The plaintiffs also are seeking a declaration that President Mahama breached Article 58(2) of the 1992 Constitution by agreeing with the United States government to have the former Gitmo detainees transferred into the country.

“A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 58(2) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana, the President of Ghana is under the obligation to execute and maintain the anti-terrorism Act of 2008 (Act 762) and the Immigration Act of 2000 (Act 573), both being laws passed under the 1992 constitution of Ghana.”

The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that, according to chapter 5 of the 1992 constitution, President Mahama, by holding the former Gitmo detainees under restricted conditions, without a valid order from a court of competent jurisdiction is breaching their fundamental human rights and thus acting unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs are asking the Supreme Court to declare that the receiving and continuous stay of the former Gitmo detainees in the country is unlawful. Furthermore, they are seeking an order directed at the Minister of Interior to, with immediate effect, return the two former Gitmo detainees from the country back to the United States of America and the award of cost for court expenses and counsel fees.

By Richard Kofi Attenkah


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