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29.04.2006 General News

Chief Justice files a motion at the Supreme Court

By Myjoyonline

The wife of the former Supreme Court Judge had sued Justice George Kingsley Acquah for wrongfully retiring her husband.

The writ also named the Attorney General as the second defendant. But the Chief Justice says holding him responsible for an action of the Judicial Council is unjustified.

According to Justice Acquah, the membership of the Judicial Council is 18 and there's no provision in the Constitution that enables the Chief Justice as chairman, to veto the decision of the Council.

According to Mrs. Adzoe's writ, the decision taken at a meeting in November last year to retire her husband and a letter asking him to vacate his bungalow before first January this year, violates Article 146 (2) and 154 of the constitution.

Mrs. Adzoe says the chief Justice should have followed the necessary procedure by petitioning the president before removing her husband from office.

But the Chief Justice says neither the Constitution nor any law make him answerable for the acts and omissions of the Judicial Council.

According to Justice Acquah, the Judicial Council is a constitutional body and its secretary signed the letter to Justice Adzoe, not as an administrative officer under the Chief Justice as alleged, but as secretary to the Judicial Council.

The motion filed on behalf of the Chief Justice by his private lawyer is therefore asking the Supreme Court to strike out his name as the first defendant.

Meanwhile, some legal experts are raising questions about the filing of the Chief Justice's motion by a private lawyer instead of the Attorney General.

According to them, the move is inconsistent with a 2002 Supreme Court ruling, which states among other things that since the functions of the Chief Justice as a public officer are official acts, any attack or claim against him in the performance of his duties need to be defended by the Attorney General.

Our sources at the Supreme Court are pointing to problems between the Chief Justice and the out-going Attorney General, hence his resort to a private lawyer. Our sources say the alleged disagreement between the Chief Justice and Ayikoi Otoo is one of the reasons for his removal from office.

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