Parliament approves Sophia Akuffo by consensus

Ms. SOphia Akuffo

Ms. SOphia Akuffo

Parliament yesterday gave its blessing to Chief Justice-designate, Ms Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, by adopting and approving by consensus the Appointment Committee’s report on her vetting.

Ms Akuffo was ‘grilled’ for more than five hours by the Appointment Committee over her new job last Friday.

Presenting the Committee’s report, Joe Osei-Owusu, chairman of the 30-man Committee which vetted the 67-year-old, said the nominee demonstrated immense knowledge of her expected office.

“The Committee observed that given her high standard of competence and integrity, forthrightness and independence of thought, astuteness and in-depth appreciation of the law, fairness and selflessness, the nominee qualifies to serve as the Chief Justice of the Republic,” Mr Osei-Owusu stated.

“Her demeanor and composure during the stretch of her vetting portrays her as a patient and tolerant person,” he added.

Mr Osei-Owusu said her responses to questions on the conditions of service for magistrates and judges, archaic guidelines and regulations on the practice of the law in the country, court automation, perception of corruption in the Judiciary, among others, which came up during her vetting were satisfactory.

Seconding the motion, the Ranking Member of the Committee, Haruna Iddrisu said the nominee’s assertion that her judicial philosophy was “justice” gives the assurance that “liberties and freedoms of Ghanaians are safe and will be safer in her hands so therefore we support her nomination as the Chief Justice of the Republic.”

Mr Iddrisu said there was the need for an end to the “slow, tortuous and cumbersome judicial process in our country, which many lawyers and judges are comfortable to say that it is the nature of Ghana’s judicial system. It cannot be the nature of our judicial system.”

To this end, Mr Iddrisu challenged Justice Akuffo to bring the needed reforms into the Judiciary to deliver timeous justice because the Judiciary plays a crucial role in the democratic growth of the country and could not be overlooked.

The Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, on her part, said by Ms Akuffo’s appointment government had ensured that the echelon of the country at any point in time would have a female representation.

She was hopeful the newly approved CJ would walk in the path of her predecessor and even do better in the administration of justice in the country.

South Dayi MP, Rockson Dafeamekpor wants Ms Akuffo to widen the court net by establishing Courts of Appeal in all regional capitals as well as High Courts in Municipalities to forestall the movement of people from one place to the other just in the pursuit of justice.

He said if this was done, justice delivery would be brought to the doorstep of the citizenry as enshrined in the constitution.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

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