The Minority in Parliament has asked the Akufo-Addo-led government to apologise to former president John Mahama and Ghanaians over its decision to retain the two ex-GITMO detainees in Ghana.
Government last week submitted to parliament an agreement covering the admission of the duo into the country by the Mahama administration for ratification.
The move followed a declaration by a seven-member Supreme Court panel presided over by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo by six to one (6 -1) majority decision Thursday June 22, 2017 that the two are illegally in the country since the then government allowed them into the country without prior approval by Parliament.
The consequential order of the court therefore was that government should within three months subject the agreement to parliamentary consideration and approval and in default return the two Gitmo detainees.
Speaking on the floor of parliament on Friday July 28, 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchway said there was no signed agreement between the previous administration and the US government over the transfer of the two.
According to her, what existed was a verbal agreement known in diplomatic circles as note verbale.
“Mr. Speaker, we have not changed anything. In the note verbals that were exchanged between the two countries. Indeed there was no agreement. The whole transaction was done through what we call a note verbale from both sides. What we have done is to attach all those documents,” she told the House.
The move by government to retain the two, however, irritated the minority.
In an interview with Starr News’ parliamentary correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan the minority spokesperson on foreign Affairs Okudzeto Ablakwa accused government of deception.
According to him, the new position is in contrast with that of the ruling government in opposition. He said the NPP government has only postponed its embarrassment with the decision to bring the agreement to parliament.
“There was a golden opportunity for the government to just return the two consistent with their campaign rhetoric…so taking the second option per the judgment means that what they were saying was just for votes.
“They took the people of this country for granted for a wild ride. All the things they said we heard them in this country that president Mahama has collected money from the US government, president Mahama has jeopardized the security of Ghana, that president Mahama doesn’t love Ghana.
“Can we say the same for president Akufo-Addo if we are to go by their own logic? Are we to say that president Akufo-Addo has now gone for money from the US government? Are we to say that president Akufo-Addo doesn’t care about the security of Ghana, that the NPP is jeopardizing the security of Ghana, that these two are dangerous and terrorists? So it is clear today that all of the things they said related to this matter was just for votes,” he said.
He thus urged the government to apologize to the former president and Ghanaians for alleging that he took money from the US government before admitting the two into the country.
Published on 31 July 2017 | 11:15 am at Source