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Parliament approves Supreme Court nominees

Parliament has approved the nomination of Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson and Justice Gertrude Torkornoo to the Supreme Court in accordance with Article 144(2) of the 1992 Constitution.

Moving the motion on the floor of Parliament yesterday, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu, said pursuant to Standing Order 172(3) of the House, the Committee in the first instance asked for inputs from the general public through hearing and submission of memoranda on any of the nominees. 

He said the Committee subsequently obtained confidential reports on the nominees from the Police and the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) as part of the background checks, while their tax status were also obtained from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). 

Mr Osei-Owusu, who is the first Deputy Speaker, said the nominees during the Public Hearing distinguished themselves creditably in response to difficult questions put to them. 

Seconding the motion, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Member of Parliament for Wa West in the Upper West Region, said he was impressed with the way they demonstrated their understanding of the law, and the way they were forthright with some of the hot issues, such as the death penalty and capping of Supreme Court Justices. 

He said for a judge to be frank about mistakes of judges, which makes the death penalty on the statute books, dangerous was commendable. 

Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South in supporting the motion described the appointments of Justices to the Supreme Court as important to the justice delivery system, adding that during the hearing they proved that they were women of substance capable of handling justice delivery in the country. 

He asked them to put in mechanisms to ensure that law delivery system was expedited to deal with the backlog of cases which had choked the system. 

Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye congratulated the judges for giving meaning to meritocracy, having risen from all levels to the apex court.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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