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General News of Wednesday, 18 December 2019


Chief Justice appointment: Ansah most senior now not Dotse – Ndebugri shreds seniority argument

Justice Julius Ansah Justice Julius Ansah

If seniority were the basis for appointing Chief Justices, then Justice Julius Ansah should be the next Chief Justice nominee after Justice Sophia Akuffo’s retirement on 20 December 2019, private legal practitioner John Ndebugri has argued.

The former lawmaker told Benjamin Akakpo on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show that Justice Ansah is senior to both the President’s CJ nominee Justice Anin-Yeboah and Justice Dotse.

Mr Ndebugri, therefore, contended that the argument of opposition lawmaker Inusah Fuseini that the President should have nominated Justice Dotse as Justice Akuffo’s successor based on seniority, does not hold water.

“I don’t know why people are talking like that. I think that I have heard some analysis from, I think Hon Inusah Fuseini, who tried to invoke the provisions of the Constitution dealing with regional balance and so on.

“I think they [Justices Anin-Yeboah and Dotse] were appointed in the same year, except that for certain reasons, he [Justice Dotse] is senior.

“Now, the most senior [on the Bench] after the departure of the current Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, will be Justice Julius Ansah, followed by Justice Dotse, followed by Justice Anin-Yeboah. So, I don’t see the argument that it ought to be Dotse”, Mr Ndebugri noted.

“… I’m saying that if it’s a matter of seniority, after Chief Justice Akuffo, Justice Julius Ansah will be the most senior and we don’t appoint Chief Justices just by reason of seniority. And it is so all over the world, it is not only in Ghana.

“You appoint a Chief Justice possibly for policy reasons and, so, I’m not in the position to determine what policy reasons may have informed the President to nominate Justice Anin-Yeboah but to insist on seniority is out of the question because if you’re depending on seniority, then the most senior after Chief Justice Akuffo will be Justice Julius Ansah”, Mr Ndebugri emphasised.

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