US-Ghana military case thrown out
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser, Yaw Brogya Genfi (Plaintiff), has been kicked out of the Supreme Court for lack of merit in a lawsuit he brought against the government.
The court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeaboa, unanimously pointed out to the Mr Brogya Genfi yesterday that his suit against the government over a defence cooperation agreement with the United States of America had no basis.
Meanwhile, he was praying the court to “set aside” the agreement on the grounds that it was unconstitutional and against national interest.
The plaintiff was seeking eight reliefs and an interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution, which he described as a term of art that 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.
He had wanted the Superior Court to declare that the ratification by Parliament of the supposed agreement between Ghana and the US on defence cooperation, the status of US forces and access to and use of agreed facilities, and areas in Ghana on March 24, 2018, had not been executed by President Akufo-Addo or anyone authorised by the President, as provided for by the Constitution, and as such should be declared null and void. Nevertheless, the Apex Court indicated to him that he had no case.
Cabinet, at its 28th meeting on 8 March 2018, approved the agreement between Ghana and the US. The ratified agreement grants US military personnel, defence contractors and agents, among other executive officials, unrestricted access to Ghanaian facilities for military and humanitarian purposes.
Ghana also granted the US military and civilian personnel a wide range of “privileges, tax exemptions and immunities,” as those granted to administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic mission. “United States contractors shall not be liable to pay tax or similar charge assess within Ghana in connection with this agreement,” the document stated.
Personnel of the US military can also enter and exit Ghana using a wide range of travelling documents, including an identification card or individual travel orders.
Per the agreement, the US will use Ghana as a base to facilitate, among other things, the training of its military personnel, staging and deployment of US forces, aircraft refuelling and landing and recovery of aircraft.
Ghana is mandated to provide “unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas” to US forces, contractors and other staff.
Again, Ghana, in the agreement, commits to provide access to and use of its runway that meets the requirements of United States Army.