A seven member Supreme Court of Ghana panel presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, has in a unanimous decision dismissed an application challenging Government’s decision to sign a “Military Cooperation Agreement” with the United States of America in 2018.
The case which was instituted by the Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Yaw Brogya Gyamfi, argued that government failed to execute the agreement as prescribed by article 75 of the 1992 Constitution before sending it to Parliament for ratification.
To this end, the applicant prayed the apex Court to declare 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 on March 24, 2018, when the supposed agreement had not been executed by the President or a 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 Supreme Court in its short judgement stated that, “the application is dismissed as unmeritorious.
According to the the presiding Judge, Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, the reasons for the judgement will be ready by 20th May 2020″.
It will be recalled that on the 5th April, 2018, after much debate on the claim by the opposition NDC, that government had offered the US land in Ghana to build a military base, the President of the Republic Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a national broadcast indicated that “in consideration of the realities of the circumstances and the challenges to peace in the region in this time, govt deemed it prudent to continue the Co-operation Agreement with the United States of America.”
He was confident that the US-Ghana Military Co-operation Agreement “will help enhance Ghana’s defence capability, and offer an important layer of support in common effort to protect the peace in our region.”
Explaining why his Government had departed from the previous norms of predecessor governments to keep military co-operation agreements entered into with the United States of America secret, President Akufo-Addo indicated that his government was of the view that such agreements should be subject to the appropriate scrutiny of Parliament, in consonance with the requirements of accountable governance and the teachings of the Constitution.
Touching on the conduct of Ghana’s foreign policy, the President stressed that the country’s foreign policy has been consistently bi-partisan, and no successor government has found the need to tamper with any Agreement of a non-commercial nature, entered into by its predecessor.
The President explained his administration came to know that Ghana had entered into a Co-operation Agreement with the United States of America, in 1998, 2000, and under the government of my predecessor in 2015.
Touching on the conditions of the Agreement, President Akufo-Addo explained that these conditions mirror closely the conditions under which Ghana participates in peace-keeping operations under the United Nations, citing the example that when Ghanaian troops go on most peacekeeping duties, they do not carry their national passports, but rather carry their military identity.
President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to take issue with the front-line politicians who have sought to mislead the people of Ghana in this blatant manner, and those who, for mischievous purposes, leaked the document destined for the scrutiny of Parliament prematurely to a section of the media, who then went on to describe it as a “secret document”.