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General News of Thursday, 23 August 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Nominees for Supreme Court Justices to be vetted today

The Appointments Committee of Parliament will later today, Thursday, vet two of the President’s nominees, Samuel Marful-Sau, a Law Lecturer, and Prof. Ashie Kotey, for the position of Justices of the Supreme Court.

The President on July 3 wrote to parliament to announce the nominations unto the Supreme Court bench.

The President made four nominations in all. The other two nominees will be vetted tomorrow, Friday.

Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu, had said the nomination of some four new justices to the Supreme Court by President was ill-timed.

According to him, the appointment came a few days after the removal of former Electoral Commission Chairperson, Charlotte Osei and her two deputies.

It subsequently emerged that two of the nominated judges served on the committee that recommended the removal of the Commissioners.

It was also at a time when the Supreme Court was to sit on a lawsuit by a private citizen challenging the removal of Charlotte Osei as the EC Boss.

“With hindsight, the nomination should have waited. For the same person, the country is so polarized among the two political parties, so as soon as you do this, it becomes fodder for the other side so practically the timing was wrong. You do not brush it in people’s face like this.”

Elevation to Supreme Court

The elevation of the judges who have sat on cases of immense public interest performing quasi-judicial functions is nothing new to Ghana’s politics.

President John Kufuor appointed Georgina Wood as Chief Justice in 2007, a year after she was appointed to investigate the disappearance from a shipping vessel MV Benjamin of 76 parcels of cocaine on 26 April 2006.

Sitting as the Sole Commissioner of the Judgment Debt Commission from 2012 to 2014, the judge waded into the politically charged subject of judgment debts that dogged the Mahama administration.

It was Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu who said Justice Marfo-Sau was politically punished by the NDC government for his judgment in Ghana@50 trial which caused the Mills administration, an embarrassment.

Justice Samuel Marful-Sau, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge dismissed the state’s case against former Chief of Staff, Mr. Mpiani and CEO of the erstwhile Ghana@50 Secretariat, Dr. Wereko-Brobby, both of whom had been standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the state

Martin Amidu said that August 10, 2010 ruling put the judge in the bad books of the NDC government.

He said Judicial Council recommended Justice Marful-Sau as the first candidate to be promoted to the Supreme Court. But he was refused that promotion and yet those who were not on the list for prime recommendation were considered.

Justice Agnes Dordzie has also performed quasi-judicial functions. She was in 2011 appointed head of a committee set up by the Chief Justice, Theodora Georgina Wood, to investigate the circumstances surrounding how cocaine being used as an exhibit in a trial case later turned out to be baking soda.