It has emerged that one of the two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees being hosted by Ghana, has gotten married during his short stay in the country.
Bin Atef’s wife, Haia, is a Yemeni national, and they have been married for about two and a half months.The marriage is said to have been contracted after the erstwhile John Mahama administration accepted to host him in January 2016, alongside Khalid Al-Dhuby.
Asked whether the marriage was contracted while he was in Ghana, George Clarke who has been lawyer for Bin Atef since 2015, said : “I think it was contracted while he was in Ghana, but I don’t believe the woman is from Ghana.”
“He is already married, but I don’t think it is to anybody in Ghana. He did get married after he got out of Guantanamo, but I don’t know the details of that,” Mr. Clarke added.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Citi News’ Umaru Sanda Amadu on Friday, Mr. Clarke also said his client wants to have his full freedom of movement in the country and be able to work as well.
“He wants to live a regular life. He wants to get married. He wants to have kids…” Mr. Clarke said.
Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who were in detention for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda, were brought to Ghana in 2016, for a period, after which they were expected to be reintegrated in their home countries.
But two Ghanaian citizens, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, subsequently sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, together with the Minister of Interior, accusing then-President John Mahama of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.
The plaintiffs were 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.”
After staying in the country for over a year, the Supreme Court on Thursday declared as unconstitutional the hosting of the two detainees without parliament approving an agreement for their stay.
The court in its judgement thus asked government to put before Parliament an agreement that will legalize the two detainees’ stay in the country, or they risk being repatriated within three the next months.
My client being used as ‘political football’
The lawyer believes the change in government in both Ghana and the US, may have seen his client being used as a political tool.
According to George Clark, “the transfer of power, “certainly doesn’t help, and it is unfortunate that it appears to me that he is being used as a political football when he has nothing to do with that.”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana