Aspiring NPP National Youth Organizer, Nana Bediako Appiah, an afable, honest and justice man who always have the the wellbeing of the youth at heart has this to say about the GITMO 2 in Ghana.

According to Nana Bediako, Article 1(2) of the Constitution 1992 states that the Constitution ‘shall be the supreme law of Ghana and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.’

Article 75(1) and (2) clearly states, ‘The President may execute or cause to be executed treaties, agreements or conventions in the name of Ghana.’

Article 75 (2) ‘A treaty, agreement or convention executed by or under the authority of the President shall be subject to ratification by-
(a) Act of Parliament; or
(b) a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one half of all the members of Parliament.

Article 75 of the Constitution 1992 is clear that agreements or conventions executed in the name of Ghana needs to be ratified through an Act of Parliament or by a resolution supported by one half of all members of Parliament. There are no qualms about this constitutional provision. If it is not met, any purported agreement or convention entered into by the President shall be void, ab initio.

The apex court of the land on 22nd day of June, 2017 declared as unconstitutional the continuing hosting of the Gitmo-2 in Ghana without prior parliamentary approval via a resolution supported by more than 50% of all its members.

The court in its judgement suggested to the Presidency to put before parliament within 3 months an agreement that will legitimize the stay of our infamous guests or repatriate the same. This, I believe is the true and proper interpretation of Article 75 as declared by the Supreme Court of Ghana. In other words, then President Mahama acted unconstitutionally by bringing the said 2 detainees without referring the underlying agreement to Parliament.

However, it is my humble opinion that the venerable Supreme Court overreached by suggesting to government what to do. With all due respect, its job is simply to declare the act unconstitutional. Wiredu JSC (as he then was) in the Ghana Bar Association V Attorney General, popularly known as the Abban case, made a statement to the effect that Judges should “not open the floodgate so wide so as to circumvent that which is not proper under the Constitution.”

Roland Dworkins, an eminent American jurist, posits that “There is no law beyond the law” and suggests to judges to take activism out of their rulings and not go beyond the law in the exercise of their discretion. Even the judges must simply state what the law is.

If government heeds to the directives of the Supreme Court, then it will lead to circumventing a constitutional mandate, ex post facto.

In my humble opinion the Supreme Court should not lose sight of the fact that their decisions carries the force of law – as was said by John Chipman Grey – and therefore must always be in line with the principles of law as stated in our Constitution.

Conclusively, on 23 day of June, 2017 I heard the then President, John Dramani Mahama on radio making statements to the effect that he did consult religious leaders, security capos, etc and for that matter there was no need for parliamentary ratification. Respectfully, Mr. President, religious leaders do not make our parliament. Members of parliament are duly elected representatives of the people.

The GITMO 2 had to be taken to wherever we took them from. I do not believe that Parliament also, should seek to rectify that which did not exist in the first place.

Nana Bediako is indeed right Choice the youth.

Odehyeaba Kwame Asare


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