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Authenticity Is Our Hallmark

The Supreme Court has fixed May 5, to deliver its verdict on the suit
challenging government’s decision to sign the United States- Ghana
Military Cooperation Agreement.

The apex court was expected to give its ruling today, but when the
matter was called, Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, who presided, said:
“regrettably this matter would be adjourned to May 5 because the panel
was unable to meet to have conference on the matter due to the partial
lockdown.”

In the year 2018, Brogya Genfi, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer
of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), sued the
government over its defense cooperation agreement with the United
States.

He among other things prayed the Court to “set aside” the agreement
on grounds that it was “not in the national interest of Ghana, and
contravenes articles (1 (2), 2, 11, 33, 125, 135, 140, 75 and 73 of the
1992 constitution.”

He is demanding a “declaration that the word ‘ratify’ used within the
provisions of Article 75 of the 1992 constitution is a term of art
which has a true meaning of incorporating international law and treaties
into the domestic legal system of the Republic of Ghana and not prior
approval or approval.”

Additionally, he is asking for a declaration that the “ratification
by Parliament of the supposed agreement between Ghana and the Government
of United States of America on Defence Cooperation, the Status of
United States Forces, and Access to and use of agreed facilities and
areas in the Republic of Ghana (hereinafter referred to as Defence
Co-operation Agreement) on March 24, 2018, when the supposed agreement
had not been executed by the President or person authorized by the
President as provided for by Article 75 of the 1992 constitution, is
contrary to the said Article 75 of the 1992 constitution and same is
null and void.”

Ms. Gloria Akuffo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Dominic Nitiwul are the defendants in the suit.

The suit came days after Parliament ratified the pact despite stiff opposition from the Minority.

The Minority staged a walkout during the debate in Parliament and the Majority approved the pact.

Following the ratification of the agreement, US troops will among
other things be exempted from paying taxes on equipment that are brought
to Ghana as well as use Ghana’s radio spectrum for free.

The Government said it was only respecting the existing Status of
Forces Agreement with the US signed since 1998 and reviewed in 2015,
under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

But the Minority contended that the agreement as existed in the past
did not have the same clauses like the current one that gives the US
unlimited access to Ghana’s military facilities.

The United State Embassy in Ghana explained that it was only planning
joint security exercises with Ghana, and that would require that US
military personnel to be allowed access to Ghana’s military facilities
and that they were not going to build a military base.

Source: GNA

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