S. Kwaku Asare
The Supreme Court recently made several important pronouncements on dual citizenship that has statutory, regulatory, and travel implications. The pronouncements render inaccurate and obsolete information posted on the website of many of our embassies. I discuss the pronouncements and their implications, especially for travelling as a dual citizen.
In 1996, the First Parliament of the 4th Republic amended the 1992 Constitution by enacting Act 527. Act 527 repealed Article 8(1) of the Constitution and substituted a new Article 8(1), which provides that: “A citizen of Ghana may hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to his citizenship of Ghana.”
Act 527 also inserted a new Article 8(2) that did not exist in the 1992 Constitution. Specifically, Article 8(2) sought to exclude dual citizens from holding the following offices: (i) Ambassador or High Commissioner; (ii) Secretary to the Cabinet; (iii) Chief of Defense Staff or any Service Chief; (iv) Inspector General of Police; (v) Commissioner, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service; (vi) Director of Immigration Service; and (vii) Any office specified by an Act of Parliament.
With the new power granted by Act 527, Parliament, in 2000, enacted Act 591, which expanded the offices that dual citizens could not hold. The Act 591 exclusions include (i) Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court; (ii) Commissioner, Value Added Tax Service; (iii) Director-General, Prisons Service; (iv) Chief Fire Officer; (v) Chief Director of a Ministry; (vi) the rank of a Colonel in the Army or its equivalent in the other security services; and (vii) any other public office that the Minister may by legislative instrument prescribe.