The government says it will soon act on a ruling by the Supreme Court on Thursday that former President John Mahama breached the constitution when he admitted two ex-Guantanamo detainees into the country.
“Government wants to assure the nation that the ex-detainees, who have been comporting themselves well since their arrival in Ghana, continue to be the supervision of the security agencies,” said a statement issued Thursday evening by Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid.
The apex court in a 6-1 majority decision ruled that action by John Mahama was in breach of Article 75 of the constitution which required that all international agreements be brought before Parliament for ratification.
The court subsequently ordered the Executive to, within the next three months, either bring the agreement to Parliament for ratification or send the two suspects back to where they came from.
The ruling by the Supreme Court follows a huge controversy in January 2016 when President Mahama admitted the two terror suspects – Muhammed Al-Dhuby and Muhammed Bin-Atef – into the country.
The two had been held in Guantanamo Bay by the US for over 14 years on suspicion of being part of the September 11 terrorist attack in the US that claimed dozens of lives in the US.
The two were picked up in Yemen in 2002, sent to Guantanamo Bay where they were held for more than a decade until ex-president John Mahama decided to accept the two into Ghana’s jurisdiction as part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
The reason for accepting the suspects was not explained but the decision triggered widespread criticisms from the then opposition NPP, civil society organisations, and religious groups.
Consequently, 86-year-old retired conference officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Margaret Bamfo and a student at the Ghana School of Law, Henry Nana Boakye, went to court to seek to challenge the action by the former President.
Thursday’s statement from President Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration said “Government is going to take prompt steps to address the consequential orders. In the meantime, Government is calling among the populace on this matter.”