Parliament approves four nominees to the Supreme Court

Ghana Parliament-

Parliament on Wednesday approved four nominees by President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo to the Supreme Court.

They are Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga and Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu, both Justices of the Appeals Court; Mr Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, a private Legal Practitioner; and Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, a retired Law Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana.

The approval follows recommendation by the Appointments Committee of Parliament that the nominees have exhibited character, competence, independent thinking and depth of knowledge of the law during their vetting, which took place last week.

The nominees also assured the Committee of the will to be above partisanship and interpret the law without fear or favour in the discharge of their duties.

Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, presenting the Report before Parliament, said the Committee appropriately considered the appointments in the light of the provisions of the 1992 Constitution and Order 74 of the Standing Orders of the House.

He said the nominees demonstrated that the 1992 Constitution is a living document and would not be interpreted with biases, and that the spirit and letter of the law would prevail for the good of the country.

No evidence of corruption, incompetence or bias in the performance of their respective roles in the legal sector was brought before the Committee, Mr Osei-Owusu said.

It accordingly found the nominees suitable to be appointed as Justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana and, therefore, recommends to the House to adopt the report and approve their nomination.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, in seconding the motion, described Prof Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu as a person brilliant at law, who paid her dues by shaping Criminal Law jurisprudence and contributing immensely to its development.

He said Prof Mensa-Bonsu, a member of the erstwhile National Reconciliation Commission, demonstrated wit and will.

He stressed the need for Justices of the Supreme Court to show fidelity to the law and not to the appointing authority because Constitutional Law was important particularly in a multi-party democracy.

Mr Iddrisu was full of admiration of the nominee for her position on Affirmative Action and many other areas, on which she has written extensively, and pointed out that they demonstrated her admirable conducts.

Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister of Works and Housing, commended the Chairman of the Committee and the members for compiling an “an exhaustive and excellent report on the nominees.”

He lauded Justice Honyenuga’s role in the Justice for All Programme, which had been beneficial in terms of access to justice and helping to decongest various prisons in the country.

He praised the nominees for demonstrating competence and merit during the vetting.

“I am fully persuaded that the quality of men and woman who are being nominated to the Supreme Court are exceptional,” he added.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs, indicated that some of the nominees were quite hesitant to answering certain questions during the vetting because they feared they may appear biased and may have to recuse themselves when such a case was brought before them at the Supreme Court.

He, therefore, called on the Appointments Committee to encourage nominees to be free minded to state their case and philosophy without prejudice to whatever case that may come before them.

“We want to know thoroughly what these nominees stand for and what their positions are….and nothing prevents them from changing their mind even if given the nod.”

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