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Fred Kwasi Apaloo

Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Woe, Ghana

Frederick Kwasi Apaloo was a Ghanaian barrister and judge. He was also a Chief Justice of Ghana between 1977 to 1986 as well as the Chief Justice of Kenya from 1993 to 1995. Fred Apaloo is the only Ghanaian Supreme Court Judge to have served in the first three Ghanaian republics.

Fred Apaloo was born in Woe, a village near Keta in the Volta Region of Ghana. At age 7, he lost his father and was therefore brought by his uncle, a merchant at Kadjebi.

He attended there Accra Academy for his secondary school education finishing in 1942 and obtained a certificate in law from the University College, Hull. In 1950, he was called to the English Bar by the Middle Temple but practiced in Ghana. He defended those involved in the Anloga riots following widespread protests against the imposition of taxes by the British colonial administration.

Fred Apaloo was appointed High Court Judge in 1960 after Ghana's independence. He presided over five persons' treason trials, including three close associates of President Kwame Nkrumah. They were Tawia Adamafio, information minister, Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, foreign minister, and Hugh Horatio Cofie Crabbe, secretary of the ruling Convention People's Party.

Edward Akufo-Addo who was one of the other judges became a Chief Justice in 1966 as well as a ceremonial President of Ghana in 1970.

In 1977, Fred Apaloo was appointed Chief Justice and was the sixth person to hold this position since Ghana's independence. There was an attempt to replace him in September 1977 under the Hilla Limann government because it was insisted that he be vetted for the position he already occupied although he was the incumbent Chief Justice.

Amoako Tuffuor, a citizen took the case to the Supreme Court. The case was presided over by Justice E. N. P. Sowah ruled that Apaloo became Chief Justice in the third republic as the 1979 Ghanaian constitution came into force. Justice E. N. P. Sowah replaced Fred Apaloo after his retirement.

In 1983, the new military government, the Provisional National Defence Council led by Jerry Rawlings also tried to remove him as Nkrumah had tried before but failed.

He retired in 1886 at age 65.

Kenya had a vacancy for Chief Justice in 1993 with no obvious candidate to fill it so he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Kenya in March 1993. He was noted to be against the death penalty while he was in Kenya. He remained Chief Justice until 1995 when he was succeeded by Abdul Majid Cocker.

He also served on the World Bank Administrative Tribunal from 1990 to 1995.

Apaloo married Georgina Kumasenu in 1953. They had two sons and three daughters.


1979 – Companion of the Order of the Volta (Ghana)

1986 -Elected a fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences

1993 – Elder of the Golden Heart (Kenya).