Ghana

Supreme Court dismisses NDC challenge to US military co-operation

The superior court overrules an application challenging the agreement on joint US/Ghana defence

A seven-member Supreme Court of Ghana panel, presided over by Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah, has decided unanimously to dismiss an application challenging the government’s decision to sign a “military co-operation agreement” with the United States of America in 2018.

The case was filed by the Ashanti regional youth organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Yaw Brogya Genfi. The respondents in the case were the Attorney General and the Minister of Defence.

Genfi argued that the government failed to execute the agreement as prescribed by Article 75 of the 1992 constitution before sending it to Parliament for ratification.

Article 75 argument

He therefore prayed the court to declare that the “ratification by Parliament of the supposed agreement between Ghana and the Government of the United States of America on defence co-operation, 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 authorised 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”.

Article 75 of the 1992 constitution states:

(1) The President may execute or cause to be executed treaties, agreements or conventions in the name of Ghana.

(2) A treaty, agreement or convention executed by or under the authority of the President shall be subject to ratification by:- (a) Act of Parliament; or (b) a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one half of all the members of Parliament.”

Facilitate operations

It is widely believed that the agreement on military co-operation will be a forerunner to the building of a formal US military base in Ghana.

A military base is a facility directly owned and operated by or for the military or one of its affiliates. The bases shelter military equipment and personnel, and facilitate training and operations.

In general, military bases provide accommodation for one or more units, but may also be used as command centres, training grounds or proving grounds. In most cases they rely on outside help in order to operate.

However, certain complex bases are able to operate independently for long periods because they are able to provide food, water and other basic necessities for residents. This ability is of particular importance if under siege. Similarly, military airbases and naval bases cater for US air force and naval need.

Fred Dzakpata

* Asaase Radio 99.5 FM. Coming to a dial near you.

* Twitter: @Asaase995FM

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