It’s not wrong for the President to nominate new judges – GBA

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Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Saviour Kudze says it is not wrong for President Akufo-Addo to replace retired Supreme Court Judges.

According to him, the Head of State was acting within the tenets of the constitution when he nominated three Justices to fill vacant offices.

Speaking on Top Story on JoyFM, he said, “I don’t think that there is any issue about this thing in the sense that the constitution gives us a minimum number of Justices that must be appointed, it does not give us a sealing but practically, what has been happening is that we have been hovering around 15,16.”

His comments were in response to South Dayi MP, Rockson Dafeamkpo’s assertion that it was unconstitutional for the President to nominate new Judges since by law, the Apex Court required a minimum of nine Justices.

Clarifying the Legislators concern, Mr Kudze said “Over the years, what has always been done is that when people retire or unfortunately die, new appointments are made to replace them so if at this time you are saying that once we have a minimum of nine, there would be no need for an appointment, I will not agree with that.”

On the back of this, he explained that many cases were referred to the Supreme Court, and those appointed as judges are elderly, therefore, the President appointing three more judges to replace the Justices that have retired was nothing wrong because he will not break the practice of hovering around the 15-16 judges.

He stressed that if the President was doing more than the usual 15 that would be of major  concern, however, since that was not the case he did not think “anybody was doing anything unlawful.”

Again, the PRO said it was high time Ghana placed an upper limit on the number of Judges to be appointed to the Supreme Court to avoid future abuses.

President Akufo-Addo nominated three new persons to go on to the Supreme Court following the retirement of some judges recently.

The appointed Justices Henry Kwofi, Yaw Asare Darko and Adjei Frimpong are all currently Justices of the Court of Appeal.

If confirmed, President Akufo-Addo alone would have appointed 18 Supreme Court judges, the biggest number by any president in Ghana’s history. 

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