Nominates Two As Supreme Court Judges; Two NPP Lawyers Also Get Nomination
President Nana Akufo-Addo, has literally rewarded two members of the committee which sat on the controversial petition leading to the removal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies from office, as part of some four persons nominated to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
They are Justice Samuel K. Marful-Sau; a Justice of Appeal court and Justice Agnes Mercy Abla Dordzie, also a Justice of Appeal court.
The nomination comes less than a week after they controversially recommended the sacking of the EC boss from office, throwing the country into a state of shock.
Justices Marful-Sau and Justice Dordzie, have handled some high-profile cases in the country’s legal history.
While, Justice Dordzi,e was the trial judge who sentenced allege serial killer, Charles “Papa” Kwabena Ebo Quansah to death in 2001 under bizarre circumstances, Justice Marful-Sau, sitting as an additional High Court judge on April 10, 2010, dismissed and acquitted Mr Kwadwo Mpiani and Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, on charges of causing financial loss to the state in the Ghana@50 saga.
In dismissing the case against the two government officials, Justice Marful-Sau, held that, the findings of a Commission of Inquiry, could not be the basis of criminal charges against the two.
The two others are; Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey, a former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Ghana (UG), Legon and Nene A. O. Amegatcher, private legal practitioner and former President of the Ghana Bar Association. Both are described as supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Prof. Kotey, served as Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission of Ghana under President John Kufuor. He had been a Dean of the Faculty of Law, UG, Legon and Acting Director of the Ghana School of Law.
Prof. Kotey, is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Law, UG, and for over 30 years, he was involved in development of higher education and civic issues. He was a visiting lecturer in Nigeria, as well as a visiting Scholar in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
He was a director of the Ghana Legal Literacy and Resource Foundation and the General Legal Council.
Nene A. O. Amegatcher’s political credential as a dye-in-the-wool supporter of the NPP, is not a secret.
A member of the Ghana General Legal Council, Nene Amegatcher, is a former president of the Ghana Bar Association, and a managing partner at Sam Okudzeto & Associates and has over 31 years of experience as a Barrister and Solicitor. His boss, Sam Okudzeto, is currently a member of the Council Of State. Also a serious NPP supporter.
The work of the committee of which Justice Marful-Sau and Justice Dordzie, played active roles, has received wide condemnation in the country, with several legal brains, questioning its credibility. It is the first time a chairman of the EC, has been removed from office by a President.
A case was yesterday filed in court, challenging the removal of Charlotte Osei, on a petition which her lawyer, Thaddeus Sory, had questioned in his 92-page address to the EC Committee.
He wrote “…when the President noticed that the petition had no petitioners, he requested to know who his petitioners were. The result is that Petitioners’ lawyer submitted to the President a list of seventeen (17) individuals. None of these individuals signed against their names. Their identities were not disclosed on the face of the list and there is no reason to believe that they even exist or are Ghanaians.”
The nominations were made known by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, on the Floor of the House yesterday, leaving lots of people in utters shock.
The announcement, follows a statement the Presidency sent to Parliament, which is expected to vet them through Appointment Committee chaired by First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu.
Currently, there are 12 justices of the Supreme Court. If approved, Ghana, will have 16 Supreme Court Judges.
The statement, said the president made the appointments “pursuant to Article 144 (2) of the Constitution,” the Judicial Council’s advice and in consultation with the Council of State.
“Upon receipt of the Judicial Council’s advice, and in accordance with my duty under Article 144 (2), I consulted with the Council of State by submitting the names and curricula vitae of the nominees for appointment to the Supreme Court. The Council of State has notified my office that the consultation process for the appointment of the nominees as Justices of the Supreme Court is now completed.”
“I am therefore in accordance with Article 144 (2), seeking the approval of Parliament for the appointment of the nominees as Justices of the Supreme Court….Mr. Speaker, it is my respectful hope and expectation that the approval of the nominees will proceed expeditiously, to enable them assume office as soon as practicable,” the President added in the statement.
Meanwhile, a private citizen has dragged the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, to the Supreme Court over the removal of the EC Chairperson, from office.
Fafali Nyonator, wants the apex court to declare that the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, a cousin of President Akufo-Addo, breached the Constitution and exceeded the limits of her powers by defining the scope of a committee of enquiry that probed a petition for the removal of Mrs. Osei.
Fafali Nyonator, also wants an order of perpetual injunction restraining President Akufo-Addo from appointing Mr. Osei’s replacement until that position has become lawfully vacant “in accordance with proper processes as by law established.”
The EC Chairperson, and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Amankwah, were removed from office, following findings of a Committee set up by the Chief Justice to probe petitions of corruption and abuse of office.
The former EC Chair, among other things, was found culpable of breaching procurement laws in the award of a contract to Dream Oval and engaging the legal services of law firm Sory@ Law.
Excerpts from the 54-page document which has been leaked to the media noted: “In all, the Chief Justice made a prima facie case against the Chairperson on six of the allegations contained in the said petition.”
According to a government statement issued Thursday and signed by Information Minister, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, the three top officials of the country’s elections management body, have been removed for misbehaviour and incompetence.
An audio recording of a Commissioner of the EC, Pauline Dadzawa, suggesting that the plan to have EC boss removed started long ago and only got the backing of the NPP, President Akufo-Addo and others. She also made mention of getting EC workers to file petitions to have Mrs. Charlotte Osei removed from office.
She was heard saying “Anyway, according to sources, they gave Felix Ofosu Kwakye $12 million to come and give to the Commission. You take some and you know…we give the staff. According to sources, when Felix also sensed that they will lose, he took half of the money, went and gave Charlotte half. And that actually infuriated us” she said
However, in a sharp rebuttal, Kwakye Ofosu, has lashed out at the said Commissioner, describing her actions as “petty and irresponsible gossip” and an attempt to “harm the reputations of innocent persons”.
In a Facebook reaction on his wall, the Former Deputy Minister, urged the public to dismiss such allegations as he expressed shock that a person of her caliber, will dabble in a thing as that intimating that he is may consider legal actions.
“It is complete and utter nonsense. At no point before, during or after that election was I given any money to give to anyone at the Electoral Commission. It is a matter of regret that a senior official of such an important body will find it necessary to dabble in such petty and irresponsible gossip and in the process harm the reputations of innocent persons.
She should be aware that her conduct makes her subject to any legal action I may consider.”
Felix Ofosu Kwakye, has since filed a writ at the High Court, against the EC Commissioner, Pauline Dadzawa, over her claim. The case was filed yesterday.
A group calling itself the Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ) has also described the dismissal of the EC Chairperson, an “utter disgust” and an affront to the rule of law.
“We believe that this decision is a travesty of justice and an attack on our fledging and must therefore be resisted by all progress forces,” the coalition noted in a statement read by the Convener of the CSJ, Sammy Gyamfi.
The coalition is convinced without reasonable doubt that ,Charlotte Osei’s discharge is “legally bankrupt, absurdly harsh and politically motivated” upon careful examination of the events and processes leading to the dismissal of the EC boss.
Sammy Gyamfi, addressing the media in Accra yesterday, accused the Chief Justice of acting unlawfully, adding that the petition presented to President Akufo-Addo, was incompetent and unrecognizable.
He further established that the decision poses great danger for the peace and stability of Ghana hence, Coalition is resolute in fighting the course to ensure that justice is served Madam Charlotte Osei.