The Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Brogya Genfi, has sued government over its defence cooperation agreement with the United States.
Brogya Genfi is, among other things, praying the Court to “set aside” the agreement on grounds that it is “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.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”JLtqhlVeZ29Mj0GC2uTydcVo2dLm5Myf”] Mr. Genfi is demanding eight reliefs in all, including 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.”
Another relief being sought by the plaintiff is 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.”
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo and Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, are the defendants in the case.
The suit comes days after Parliament ratified the pact despite stiff opposition from the Minority.
The approval was done by only Majority members because the Minority members staged a walkout during the debate on the floor of Parliament.
With the agreement ratified, it means that the 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 troops and their equipment will also have unhindered access to the US forces and their equipment.
Although many Ghanaians have expressed resentment over the clauses of the agreement, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, said the agreement is in the best interest of Ghana.
The Government has consistently explained that it was only respecting the existing Status of Forces Agreement with the US signed since 1998 and reviewed in 2015, under the previous NDC administration.
But the NDC Minority has downplayed this argument saying 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 US Embassy in Ghana has also explained that it is only planning joint security exercises with Ghana, which will require that US military personnel are allowed access to Ghana’s military facilities and that they are not building a military base.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana