Fifi Fiavi Kwetey — General Secretary, NDC
Fifi Fiavi Kwetey — General Secretary, NDC
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Chief Justice can’t request judges for Supreme Court — NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described as unconstitutional the decision by the Chief Justice, Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, to recommend judges for nomination to the Supreme Court.

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“Nowhere in the Constitution is the Chief Justice (CJ) named as the one to recommend persons to the president for appointment to the Supreme Court. We wish to state, without any equivocation, that the Chief Justice’s letter is illegal and of no effect,” it said.

Addressing a press conference in Accra Thursday [July 4], the General Secretary of the NDC, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, said the party had sighted a letter from the Chief Justice to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, requesting the appointment of five new judges to the Supreme Court.

“This request from the Chief Justice is not only a blatant violation of our Constitution but also a flagrant disregard for the established customs and traditions that guide the nomination of judges to our nation's highest court,” the NDC General Secretary said.

Read also: NDC raises issues with recommendation for nomination of new Supreme Court judges

Judges

Mr Kwetey mentioned the names of the five judges put forward by the CJ in her request to the President as Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botchwey, the presiding judge in the ambulance trial involving the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson; Justice Cyra Pamela Koranteng; Justice Edward Amoako Asante; Justice Eric Kyei Baffuour, and Justice Angelina Mensah Homiah.

He said the CJ had proposed the five judges to the President for nomination to the Supreme Court to manage the high volume of current cases.

He claimed the request from the CJ, dated May 30, 2024, was promptly received by President Akufo-Addo on June 4, 2024 and subsequent to that the Attorney-General followed with another letter dated June 21, 2024, expressing support for the CJ’s unsolicited and unconstitutional request.

This request by the CJ to the President,  Mr Kwetey said were objected to by the Judicial Council and the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), citing a letter in the possession of the party dated April 29, 2024 signed by the President of the GBA, Yaw Acheampong Boafo, and addressed to President Akufo-Addo not to appoint the five additional judges to the Supreme Court, thereby increasing the number of judges on the Supreme Court to 20 to buttress the party’s point.

Demand

Mr Kwetey said the NDC was, therefore, calling on President Akufo-Addo to immediately stop any plans to appoint additional judges to the Supreme Court, and demanded that any future appointments to the Supreme Court must strictly follow the constitutional process, including consultation with the Judicial Council and parliamentary approval.

The party further called for the full disclosure of the criteria and process used for the selection of these judges as it was essential to ensure transparency and accountability. It also demanded that the CJ retracted the unconstitutional request to appoint additional judges and ensure that future actions aligned with legal and ethical standards.

In addition, the NDC demanded that future judicial appointments must be based on merit, experience and integrity, rather than political affiliations or loyalties.

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