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13.12.2019 Feature Article

President Unveils Nominee For Chief Justice

President Unveils Nominee For Chief Justice
LISTEN DEC 13, 2019

President Akufo Addo has done his pick.
He's nominated Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah as the new chief justice, subject to parliamentary approval.

He made the announcement on Thursday 12 December 2019.

Was it a difficult decision?
Political pundits and journalists had theorized that the exercise could weigh down nerves as there were powerful players behind the scene. 'That could be an obvious difficulty for the president,' one journalist stated.

The reason,, Mr. Akufo-Addo had two 'giant contenders'---justices Jones Doste and the nominee Justice Yeboah. They both seemed to have put their best foot forward for the CJ position, a factor which in part fueled the speculation.

But at the end of the day the man who wields the political power settled on Mr. Anin-Yeboah, It's believed he was the President's favourite and was also highly favoured by the NPP lawyers.

What does he bring?
Mr. Anin-Yeboah is known for his knack for excellence. He also exudes decency, integrity and honesty.

He was appointed to the Supreme Court by President John Kuffour on the 11th of June 2008.

A few days before the announcement, Paul Adom-Otchere, journalist and host of Good Evening Ghana' a MetroTV prime-time pprogramme had said that Mr. Yeboah's final verdict on the 2012 Election Petition could influence the President's decision.

Paul quoted Mr. Yeboah during the popular programme:

"I will therefore, grant the relief One, in view of the evidence led, and decline to grant the relief two. I however, as consequential order, I will order the Second respondent (EC) to organise an election to select a president, as I cannot rely on an election which was seriously fraught with the malpractices, irregularities and statutory violations proved in this petition to declare the first petitioner as duly been elected."

Indeed, the odd favoured Mr. Yeboah.
Though Paul had scored 3-1 votes in favour of Mr. Dotse and 2-1 for Mr. Anin-Yeboah.

Mr. Anin-Yeboah a Supreme Court Judge will replace Mrs.Sophia Abena Akuffo who retires on 20 December 2019.

Justice Anin Yeboah will become the 5th successive CJ appointed by the NPP after Justices Edward Kwame Wiredu (2001-03),

George Kingsley Acquah (2003-07), Georgina Theodora Wood (2007-17)and

Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo( 2017-19).
Among the Justices named above, two are on record to have been the longest serving chief justices in Ghana’s history. They're CJ Wood 2007-2017, followed by CJ F.K Apaloo 1977-1986.

Since Independence, Ghana has had 13 chief justices two of them women.

Article 144(1) of the 1992 Constitution provides that the Chief Justice shall be appointed by the president acting on the advice of Judicial Council in consultation with the Council of State and with the approval of Parliament.

If approved, Justice Anin-Yeboah, who is the fourth longest-serving Justice of the Supreme Court, will succeed Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, who retires on December 20, 2019. He will also be the 14th CJ.

Justice Anin-Yeboah, a well-seasoned law enforcer, was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President John Agyekum Kuffuor in June 2008.

He has also served as a Justice of the High Court, and a Justice of the Court of Appeal.

In addition, he is a part-time lecturer in Civil Procedure and the Ghana Legal System at the Ghana School of Law.

Prior to that, he had served as a Justice of the High Court from 2002 to 2003 and a Justice of the Court of Appeal from 2003 to 2008.

Apart from being a Supreme Court Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah is also a part-time lecturer in Civil Procedure and the Ghana Legal System at the Ghana School of Law among other disciplines.

In the 4th Republic, the NDC has appointed only one CJ. That was Chief Justices Kobbina Abban in 1995. Chief Justice Philip Edward Archer before him, held the office into the 4th Republic.

Legal practitioner, Ace Kojo Ankomah holds the view that given the way things are shaping up, the governing NPP could make a huge impact in the shaping of the Supreme Court in the years to come.

"The NPP has the opportunity to shape the judicial philosophy of the SC for several years to come. All things being equal, by the end of its first term, it would have replaced 10 retiring SC judges," says Mr. Ankoma.

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Gordon Offin-Amaniampong, © 2019

The author has 376 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: GordonOffinAmaniampong

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