22 June 2018

Ghana-U.S. Military Deal Suit - A-G Given 7 Days to Respond

The Supreme Court (SC) has given the Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, seven days to file her written response in a suit challenging Ghana's military cooperation agreement with the United States America (USA).

The defence agreement would among other things allow 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.

Mr Yaw Brogya Gyanfi, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who filed the writ, is asking that the agreement be nullified as the ratification by Parliament was unconstitutional.

The applicant argued that 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 Miss 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 therefore, asking for 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.

According to Mr Gyamfi, neither the executive nor the legislature has the power to enter or ratify a treaty that seeks to oust the jurisdiction of the SC in matters of interpretation of international agreements.

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