Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday February 02, 2018
It is turning out that the two suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists from Yemen, who were deported to Ghana from the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay on the orders of former President Barack Obama, have agreed to leave the country.
They reportedly reached an agreement with the government of Ghana to send them to a third unnamed country.
Charles Owiredu, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, who made the disclosure on Joy FM, said the two supposed Al-Qaeda terrorists - Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby - had informed the Akufo-Addo administration to send them to a different country, and added that the negotiations regarding their preferred country had been ongoing.
“So of course, we sought their consent before these negotiations were done,” the deputy minister said.
“Per the laws, the 1951 Convention and 1957 Protocol on Refugees, you would need their consent.
“And so now, you have their consent and they say when you find a country we are ready to leave..... Not as easy as you put. They are aware that government is in negotiation with a third country for them to exit.”
Last week, the agreement between the erstwhile Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and the Obama administration to repatriate the terror suspects to Ghana resurfaced when the two-year deal expired.
The opposition NDC, which caused the mess whilst in government, had turned around to put pressure on the NPP administration to decide the fate of the two detainees.
In the ensuing heat, it emerged that the Mahama administration attempted to change the names of the suspected terrorists and ended up issuing them with Ghanaian passports, which DAILY GUIDE sources say will expire in August 2018.
They were also given wives, allowing them to integrate into the Ghanaian society.
Majority leader in parliament and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, said on radio last week that the Mahama administration surreptitiously granted the two - who according to US authorities, were Osama Bin Laden’s foot soldiers - refugee status before the expiry of the two-year agreement.
He said one of them is married to a Moroccan but had vowed never to go to the Maghreb country for reasons best know to him.
The majority leader further said that per the agreement, the over $300,000 released by the Obama administration to Ghana under the deal covered the terrorists up to the end of the two-year deal signed.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah Bonsu added that with the expiration of the agreement, the people of Ghana are the ones footing the bills for the two guys, who the US security intelligence said are dangerous.
He said then Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh had created the impression in parliament that the so-called deal was subject to renewal after two years - which elapsed about two weeks ago - although the same Mahama administration had secretly undermined the two-year agreement and granted them refugee status.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the NDC government, before altering the agreement, did not even have the courtesy to include it in the handing over notes to the NPP government during the transition in early 2017.
Supreme Court Ruling
Last year, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the admission of the two suspected terrorists into the country by the Mahama administration.
A seven-member panel, presided over by Chief Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, by a 6 -1 majority decision, said the two were illegally staying in the country since the then government allowed them into the country without prior approval by parliament; and the consequential order of the court was that the NPP government should within three months submit the agreement for parliamentary consideration and approval or in default, repatriate the two ex-detainees.