Parliament’s Appointments Committee will today [Friday], June 16, 2017, vet Justice Sophia Akuffo, President Akufo-Addo’s nominee for the position of Chief Justice.
The Appointments Committee had earlier set June 19 for the vetting, but announced on Tuesday, June 13, that it had to reschedule the vetting to this week to avoid keeping the position vacant for long.
The first Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, told pressmen that it was necessary to fast-track the vetting to ensure that Justice Akuffo, when approved, fills in the position ahead of the retirement of the acting Chief Justice, William Atuguba.
“The Chief Justice [Georgina Theodora Wood] has retired already… a vacuum, so to speak, has been created because the next available senior [Justice William Atuguba] is also due to retire in a few days from now. We considered all the circumstances and as a committee, we reviewed the fact that to date, no petition has been brought against the CJ nominee. It may be helpful to abridge the time and do it as quickly as possible.
“That will enable us to take the whole day [on Friday] and use the weekend to prepare a report and probably by Monday we’ll be ready for the report to be considered by the plenary,” Joe Osei Owusu said.
He added that, “This week, she [Sophia Akuffo] may not be able to start work, but beginning next week, she may be able to start work in full and administration of justice can then continue without any vacuum.”
President Akufo-Addo last month announced Justice Sophia Akuffo as his choice of successor of Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood who retired on June 8, 2017.
About the CJ nominee
Sophia Akuffo had her Masters in Law (LLM) from the Havard University in the United States.
She has been a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and the Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force.
In January 2006, she was elected one of the first judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights initially elected for two years, she was subsequently re-elected until 2014 and is at present serving as Vice-President of the Court.
She has written The Application of Information & Communication Technology in the Judicial Process – the Ghanaian Experience, a presentation to the African Judicial Network Ghana (2002).
If confirmed by parliament Justice Sophia Akuffo will be the fifth Chief Justice under the fourth republic after; Isaac Kobina Abban who served between 1995 to 2001.
Edward Kwame Wiredu also served between 2001 and 2003 while George Kingsley Acquah served from 2003 to 2007 before Georgina Theodora Wood from 2007 to 2017. Justice Akuffo will also be the 13th Chief Justice in the history of the Republic of Ghana.
Meanwhile, the vetting of Irene Naa Toshie Addo as District Assembly Common Fund Administrator is scheduled for 20th June.