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

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has raised issues about a purported recommendation by the Chief Justice asking that new judges should be nominated for the Supreme Court bench to replace retired ones.

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According to reports, the recommended nominees are Justice Afia Asare Botwe, Justice Cyra Pamela Koranteng, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour and Justice Angelina Mensah Homiah.

The president is expected to go through and nominate from the list to replace retired or retiring judges in line with the Constitution that states that the President shall nominate justices of the Supreme Court in consultation with the Judicial Council.

Following the leakage and publication of the recommended names in the Chief Justice letter, there has been varied public reactions.

At a press conference in Accra on Thursday, addressed by the NDC General Secretary, Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey, the party demanded an immediate halt of the process to appoint new Justices to Ghana's apex court.

According to the party, the appointment of new justices who are believed to be sympathisers of the governing NPP to the Supreme Court, will have dire consequences on the country's democracy.

Mr Kwetey alleged that the judiciary "is being transformed into a puppet of the President."  

He said it was unacceptable to pack the Supreme Court with the loyalists of the President. 

"The NDC urgently demands an immediate halt of further Supreme Court appointments. We demand that President Akufo-Addo immediately stop any plans to appoint additional judges to the Supreme Court," he said. 

Mr Kwetey said the current posturing of President Akufo-Addo towards the judiciary was not only a political gimmick but an existential threat to the country's democracy.

"It is time to stand up. It is time to speak up; it is time to demand justice," he stated.

He said judges who "do not conform to the whims and caprices of President Akufo-Addo and Chief Justice are subtly punished through administrative transfers.

The NDC General Secretary said any further appointments to the Supreme Court must be in line with the country's constitution, including consultation with the Judicial Council. 

He also called on the Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo to resist any Executive pressure to influence judicial appointments and promotions. 

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