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30.10.2002 General News

Ghana Now Has 13 Supreme Court Judges, as...

By Graphic/Mckinley
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...Parliament approves appointments of justices
Parliament has approved the appointment of five justices to the Supreme Court. They are Mr Justice Stephen Alan Brobbey, Mr Justice Samuel Glenn Baddoo, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, Prof. Samuel Kofi Date-Bah and Dr Seth Twum, who appeared before the Appointment's Committee for vetting from September 24 to September 26, 2002. Their rise to the Bench takes the number of Supreme Court Judges to 13. The House also approved the appointment of Mr Joshua Nicol as the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund. Moving the motion for the adoption of the report of the Appointments Committee, Mr Eugene Atta Agyepong, Vice-Chairman of the committee, said no adverse reports, petitions or objections were received on any of the nominees, adding that, "the committee was satisfied that all the nominees have the requisite qualification and experience to be appointed to the high office as justices of the Supreme Court." Certain pertinent questions were posed to which the nominees gave various answers. Mr. Agyepong said central among them were the reality of public perception of corruption within the Judiciary, opinions about the death penalty on the statute books, possible amendments to portions of the 1992 Constitution and the Public Tribunal system.

Mr Agyepong, who is also the NPP member for Abetifi, said all the five nominees actually proved themselves knowledgeable, competent and capable of occupying the positions to which they have been nominated, adding that, "they were articulate and forthright in most of their answers to the questions posed."

Mr. Freddie Blay who is Chairman of the Appointments Committee moved the motion for the confirmation of the appointment of Mr Nicol. He indicated that the nominee, who currently works as a private finance and marketing consultant, has had a stint of service with the district assemblies. Minister of State at the Office of the President and NPP member for Upper Denkyira, Mr C.O Nyanor, was hopeful that Mr Nicol will work hard to justify the confidence reposed in him.

Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, (NDC, North Dayi) described the promise by Mr Nicol to set up a separate account for the MPs Common Fund as laudable, and expressed the hope that the move will help solve all problems associated with the disbursement of the MPs common fund. The NDC member for Fanteakwa, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said it is unfortunate that, "although we are in the month of October, the formula for the disbursement of the common fund has not been brought to Parliament for approval due to delay in the appointment of a new administrator of the fund."

Mr Stephen Balado Manu (NPP, Ahafo Ano South) advised district assemblies not to rely solely on the common fund for the development of the districts, but to strengthen their revenue mobilisation efforts to generate resources for the purpose. Mr Abuga Pele (NDC, Chiana Paga) urged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to institute effective control measures to ensure that the common fund is used for the intended purpose.

Contributing to the debate on the motion, Alhaji Amadu Ali (NDC, Atebubu South) said although he is in favour of the appointment, he has misgivings about the way some aspects of the voting was conducted. He urged the chairman to rectify the anomaly in future. Mr. Kofi Attor (NDC, Ho Central) expressed misgivings about what he termed the way and manner the nomination of the administrator was carried out. He said although the previous administrator handed over his letter more than six months ago, it took the government a very long time to appoint a successor. Alhaji Muhamad Mumuni, (NDC, Kumbungu) stressed the need for the government to mainstream poverty reduction in all policies and implementation strategies.

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