The Ranking member of Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has written an open letter to the Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah detailing his concerns about the status of two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees resident in the country
An Open Letter to the Honourable Minister Responsible for National Security
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Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah,
Minister for National Security,
REQUEST FOR UPDATE ON THE TWO EX-DETAINEES OF GUANTANAMO BAY AND CONTINUOUS BREACH OF THE SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES ACT, 1996 (ACT 526)
Kindly consider my warm compliments duly paid.
Today, the 24th of January, 2019 marks exactly one year since you joined your colleagues: the Honourable Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the Interior and Defence, ostensibly to brief Parliament on the Government of Ghana's position relating to the status of the two ex-detainees of Guantanamo Bay, Mahmud Umar Muhammed Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad
Honourable Minister, as you will recall, your colleague Ministers and your good self made submissions to Parliament on that day to the effect that Government's decision on the matter in issue is inconclusive. The Official Report of Parliamentary Debates on Wednesday 24th
In the same vein, the Foreign Minister told the House as captured in column 59 - "
Subsequently, a Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Respectfully, it is my considered view that after a full year of patiently waiting on Government, it is imperative that in this matter which is of enormous national interest, you provide an update to the Ghanaian people as Good Governance principles of transparency and accountability will demand.
It is my humble expectation that you will now provide the update requested with dispatch.
Honourable Minister, I should also bring to your attention your continuous breach of Section 17 (2) of the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996 (Act 526) which stipulates - "The Minister assigned responsibility under subsection (1) of this section shall in respect of each year submit a report to Parliament on the Intelligence Agencies."
Sir, you have not complied with this provision since assuming the position of National Security Minister and thereby undermining Parliament's Constitutional mandate of oversight.
As you are aware, I have consistently drawn your attention and brought to the awareness of Parliament through several statements on the floor this violation of the law. I have over the period consequently proceeded to file questions in Parliament seeking to urge you to provide answers to the House on your blatant violation of Act 526 without compunction especially under a President who consistently touts his rule of law credentials.
Having had all my Parliamentary efforts to get you to comply with the Securities and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996 (Act526) ignored rather contemptuously, I hereby serve notice that if the situation remains the same 20 days after the 29th of January, 2019, resumption of Parliament, I shall proceed to our most esteemed courts to compel you to honour your obligations under Act 526.
I have come to this decision seeing that
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
MP, North Tongu
Ranking Member, Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs.