President Akufo-Addo charges Anin-Yeboah to guard the independence of Ghana’s judges Featured

By Nana Yaw Dwamena January 08, 2020 2846 1714 comments

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday urged the new Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, to guard the independence of the judiciary jealously and bring honour to it.

The President also demanded “decency, discipline, fairness, hard work, deep-seated respect for the rule of law, and the continuing modernisation of judicial activities to be the hallmarks, too” of his era as Chief Justice.

He made the entreaty during a short ceremony in the Banquet Hall of Jubilee House in Accra to swear the new Chief Justice into office.

Right choice

According to the President, appointing Justice Anin-Yeboah as the 14th Chief Justice was not a difficult decision to make.

He described the new leader of Ghana’s judiciary as the right choice for the position.

This, he explained, is because Justice Anin-Yeboah has given long and distinguished service on the bench in the superior court of judicature, over a total of 17 years, from the high court, through the Court of Appeal, and finally on the Supreme Court.

Checks and balances

The President assured Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah of his determination to be a reliable and trusted partner of Ghana’s judges, so that the executive and the judiciary can co-operate in a spirit of mutual respect to entrench good governance for the advancement of the Ghanaian people.

“I want to underline this assurance by indicating my willingness and preparedness to address the infrastructural challenges to the satisfactory functioning of the courts that so engaged the attention of Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, and which she so vividly highlighted during her time in office,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo noted that with the appointment of Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah taking place at the beginning of a new year in a new decade – “a decade in which hope, optimism and progress will define the unfolding Ghanaian reality” – all Ghanaians have a joint responsibility to work together to achieve the Ghana project.

“This is a collective enterprise to which we should all commit ourselves, in unity and in sincerity, so that we can realise in our generation the dreams of freedom and prosperity that animated the great patriots who founded our nation.

“For my part, I have an unshakeable faith in the boundless prospects of Ghana’s future, and will do everything possible to reach out for it, the radiance of the Black Star,” he said.

The President is confident that Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah will be a noble actor in this historic endeavour. He congratulated him on his appointment, and wished him well and God’s guidance in performing his duties.

Profile

After graduating from the Ghana Law School, Justice Anin-Yeboah started off as an assistant state attorney at the Office of the Attorney General in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region. After a long period as its secretary, he was elected president of the Eastern Regional branch of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).

He served as a high court judge from 2002 to 2003, became a judge of the Appeal Court in 2003 and was elevated to the Supreme Court in 2008 by the second President of the Fourth Republic, John Agyekum Kufuor. He is chair of the governing board of the Legal Aid Commission.

Describing Justice Anin-Yeboah as one of the leading lights of the court, President Akufo-Addo said the 14th Chief Justice has already contributed extensively to the court’s labours and to the development of its jurisprudence.

“His association with the beautiful game saw him become chair of the appeals committee of the Ghana Football Association, with the success of his work earning him a place on the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA, the global body responsible for the management of world football,” he noted.

The President continued, “In 2016, he was first selected to be a member of FIFA’s ethics committee, and in May 2017, at the organisation’s 67th Congress, he was elected chair of FIFA’s disciplinary committee.

“It says much for the acknowledgment of his integrity that these appointments occurred at a time when world football was undergoing its greatest ethical crisis in modern times.”

Sophia Akuffo’s record of integrity

The swearing-in of Justice Anin-Yeboah is the second time President Akufo-Addo is discharging his constitutional obligation to appoint a chief justice. He paid tribute to the 13th, departing occupant of the seat, Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo.

Describing her tenure as characterised by “her well-known qualities of hard work, discipline and integrity, and by an exceptional focus on the infrastructural needs of the courts and the modernisation of their processes”, the President said that Chief Justice Akuffo had justified the confidence he reposed in her. He accordingly wished her a well-earned rest.

He also conveyed his appreciation to Justice Julius Ansah for holding the fort briefly as acting Chief Justice, during the period of retirement of Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo and before the swearing into office of Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah.

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