Chief Justice did no wrong requesting more judges for Supreme Court – Afenyo-Markin

Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo Markin, has dismissed claims that Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey-Torkonoo acted unconstitutionally by suggesting names of justices to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

According to Afenyo Markin, the timing of the suggestion is not illegal, despite criticisms that it comes close to elections and that the Supreme Court has too many justices compared to the US Supreme Court.

He explained that Ghana’s Supreme Court handles all cases filed, unlike the US Supreme Court, which selects cases that meet its threshold.

Afenyo Markin cautioned the Minority caucus to be objective when discussing the justice system, rather than politicizing it.

Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkornoo, recommended five judges to President Akufo-Addo for nomination to the Supreme Court on May 30.

The recommended judges are Justice Afia Asare Botwe, Justice Cyra Pamela Koranteng, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, Justice Eric Kyei Baffuour, and Justice Angelina Mensah Homiah.

The recommendations are subject to parliamentary approval.

The decision by the Chief Justice to single-handedly nominate five judges to the Supreme Court sparked concerns about public confidence in the judiciary,

Legal scholar, Professor Stephen Asare, known commonly as Kwaku Azar, noted that the perception of fairness and impartiality is crucial to the judiciary’s credibility, and the Chief Justice’s unilateral decision undermines this principle.

“The nomination process should be transparent and inclusive to ensure public trust in the judiciary,” Prof. Azar emphasized.

Also, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) described as unconstitutional the Chief Justice’s decision.

“Nowhere in the Constitution is the Chief Justice (CJ) named as the one to recommend persons to the president for appointment to the Supreme Court. We wish to state, without any equivocation, that the Chief Justice’s letter is illegal and of no effect,” the main opposition party said.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Thursday July 4, the General Secretary of the NDC, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, said the party had sighted a letter from the Chief Justice to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, requesting the appointment of five new judges to the Supreme Court.

“This request from the Chief Justice is not only a blatant violation of our Constitution but also a flagrant disregard for the established customs and traditions that guide the nomination of judges to our nation’s highest court,” the NDC General Secretary said

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