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27.03.2007 General News

Law corridors sombre as bench and bar mourn CJ


Flags at the Supreme Court Building are flying at half mast, most of the courts have adjourned their cases and staff of the judicial service, members of the bar and bench are in grief.

This was the sombre mood at the courts on Monday following the demise of Chief Justice George Kingsley Acquah in the early hours of Sunday, March 25.

The GNA says when it visited the courts some lawyers had arrived to attend court.

Some of the courts preferred to sit in chambers after some lawyers had agreed on adjourned dates. Some staff of the Judicial Service, especially women were seen pinning red tags on their uniforms.

Mr Thomas Ward-Brew, leader of the Bar Association of Ghana (BAG), described the death of the Chief Justice as a shock.

He said the late Justice Acquah, who was a mate at Commonwealth Hall University of Ghana, Legon, was very hard working.

Mr Brew said the CJ had undertaken a lot of projects that sought to decongest the Courts.

Ms Gertrude Aikins, Acting Director for Public Prosecution (DPP), said his death was painful adding, "it is difficult to lose somebody who was outspoken.

"The atmosphere is solemn, in fact his death is a shock," she added.

Mr Kwabla Senanu, a senior lawyer, noted that the late Chief Justice had continued with infrastructure development started by his predecessors saying, "he has completed about 70 to 80 per cent of the projects".

According to Mr Senanu, the late Chief Justice worked very had for the judiciary and the entire country, especially his contribution to the writing of Law Reports.

Mr Akwasi Bosompem, another senior lawyer, lauded the late Chief Justice for the excellent judgments he delivered at the Superior Courts during his tenure.

A worker of the Judicial Service told the GNA: "It is sad to lose the Chief Justice, especially when he has brought reforms into the Service and was doing everything possible to get better salaries for us to enable us to improve our output. We will forever remember him."

Mr Justice George Kingsley Acquah died on Sunday at the 37 Military Hospital, aged 65 years.

Justice Acquah, who was appointed Chief Justice in June 20, 2003, would be remembered for attempting to reconcile Ghana's traditional adjudication laws with the imposed colonial ones.

He was born in Sekondi in the Western Region on March 6, 1942. He attended Adisadel College, Cape Coast, from 1957 to 1963, where he obtained both the Ordinary and Advanced level Certificates of the West African Examinations Council.

Justice Acquah gained admission to the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1964 where he obtained LL.B (Honours). In 1970 he entered the Ghana School of Law where he obtained the professional certificate in Law. He was called to the Bar in 1972.

His employment record includes private legal practitioner from 1972 to 1989, High Court Judge from 1989 to 1994, Appeals Court Judge from 1994 to 1995 and Supreme Court Judge from 1995.

He held national and international positions such as Patron, Commonwealth Legal Education Association, London.

Justice Acquah left behind a wife and six children.

With the death of Justice Acquah, the following are justices of the Supreme Court in order of seniority.

F. Y. Kpegah, W. A. Atuguba, Ms Sophia A. B. Akuffo, Theodore Adzoe, Mrs Georgina Wood, S. A. Brobbey, Dr. Seth Twum, S. K. Date-Bah, Prof. Tawiah Modibo Ocran, J. Ansah, R T. Aninakwa, Mrs Sophia Ophilia Adjeibea Adinyira and Samuel Kwadwo Asiamah.

Source: GNA