The Supreme Court has ordered the government of Ghana to release its agreement with the United States government regarding the acceptance of two Guantanamo Bay detainees into the country.
The release of the documents, according to the court, is to be made available only to the lawyers in the matter.
This followed the submission of the verbal agreement otherwise referred to as “Note Verbalizes” in diplomatic circles between the Government of Ghana and its American counterpart, to the court on July 12, 2016, by the Attorney General.
This was because the agreement, according to the AG, was confidential and any disclosure in the public or open court would violate section 1 of the State Secrets ACT, 1962 (Act 101).
But scrutinizing the agreement, the judges were of the view the release of the documents to the lawyers would not result in any security threat.
Two Ghanaian citizens, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, together with the Minister of Interior, accusing President John Mahama of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.
The plaintiffs are 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.”
Ex-Guantanamo detainees pose no security threat – US Embassy
Ghanaians met government’s decision to host the two as a threat to national security, but Government insisted the two men posed no threat.
In January 2016, the United States Embassy in Ghana, assured Ghanaians that the presence of the two former detainees, posed no threat to the security of the country.
“The two detainees that were transferred to Ghana have already arrived…we don’t have access to the specifics of their whereabouts, you have to go to the government of Ghana for that,” Public Affairs Counselor at the US Embassy in Ghana, Daniel Fennell said.
Two Guantanamo bay detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby had been in detention for 14 years, after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda.