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General News of Saturday, 23 May 2020


What you need to know about Ghana’s first Muslim Supreme Court judge

Justice Tanko Amadu with President Akufo-Addo Justice Tanko Amadu with President Akufo-Addo

Following the nomination of judges for the Supreme Court by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, one of the nominees, Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu has rather stood out among the rest for being the first Muslim Supreme Court judge of the Ghanaian Republic.

With a long-standing history of various religious beliefs, freedom and the law, the appointment of Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu at the Jubilee House on Friday, May 22, 2020, could not have been a timely one to the nation.

Additionally with the 2020 Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations almost nigh, Muslim faithful can boast of their own in the highest court of the land which will signify the nation’s fundamental values such as religious freedom, concept of equality before the law and equal protection of the law for all.

While he was vetted by Parliament as Supreme Court judge nominee on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Muslim faithful in Ghana were known to have met the selection with euphoria across the country despite his response to questions on the use of the hijab in schools and the Islamic inheritance system which many disagreed with his assertion.

Justice Tanko Amadu has earlier served as Assistant State Attorney, private legal practitioner, Judge Advocate of the Ghana Navy, Justice of the High Court, Additional High Court Judge sitting on civil matters, narcotics, robbery, and other violent crimes, Director of the Remand Prisoners Project, and long-serving Justice of the Court of Appeal.

Early life and work

Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu was born at Dodowa and had his primary school education at the District Assembly Primary School and the Methodist Middle School both in Dodowa.

He had his secondary school education at both Ghanata Senior High School between 1970 and 1975, followed by a sixth form course at the Ghana Senior High School in Koforidua between 1975 and 1977.

At the University of Ghana, he obtained his LLB and then proceeded to the Ghana School of Law for his professional law course.

He then undertook a pupilage with Azinyo Chambers in Accra where he worked with renowned Nigerian law practices like A.C. Matthews & Co, Lagos and was later Associate Member of Alao Aka Bashorum & Co also in Lagos.

Having worked as a lawyer in the Federal Republic of Nigeria for 19 years and going on to start his own firm in 1997, Justice Tanko Amadu was appointed to the Accra High Court in 2008 and four years later, was promoted to the Court of Appeal until his recent appointment as a Supreme Court judge by the president.

Core values and mandate

For Justice Tanko Amadu, he is said to be an advocate for a change in the status quo pertaining to the justice system and also believes in social justice and solidarity, governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability.

He is mandated to demonstrate independence, proven integrity, high moral character, and impartiality of mind as a Supreme Court judge.


After being nominated as one of three persons for the Supreme Court by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Justice Tanko Amadu was on Friday, 22nd May 2020, sworn into office with another newly appointed Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga at separate ceremonies at the Jubilee House in Accra.