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How Haruna Iddrisu drilled Akufo-Addo’s nominee over his jump from High Court to Supreme Court

Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu and Haruna Iddrisu

Thu, 20 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

It was an interesting banter between Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu and Supreme Court Justice-nominee, Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu when the latter sat before the Appointments Committee to be vetted for his nominated position.

Justice Gaewu was the only High Court judge among the four Judges nominated by the President to the Supreme Court.

Having resigned as a member of the New Patriotic Party on the 16th of September 2020, the same day he was appointed a High Court judge, Justice Gaewu is the only one among the nominees to have been linked with political affiliations.

During his vetting on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, Haruna Iddrisu sought to understand the reasoning behind his nomination, having skipped a position at the Appeals Court.

Despite acknowledging the President’s appointing powers, Mr. Iddrisu noted that concerns had been raised about the appointment of Justice Gaewu when his seniors who equally were qualified for the position were not given the opportunity.

According to him, this may serve as a disincentive to colleagues who may have paid their dues through service but have not received such recognition.

Below is the interaction between Haruna Iddrisu and Justice Gaewu as it happened:

The four Judges nominated to the Supreme Court by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo are being vetted by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.



Haruna Iddrisu:

Your particular nomination to the high office of the Justice of the Supreme Court, has ignited some public interest about what the president can and cannot do.

Since the law is in your bosom and we are only here as members of parliament, let me just correct the erroneous impression that is being said somewhere.

No one has questioned the authority or mandate of the constitutional power of the president to appoint a justice of the Supreme Court.

What we have sought to express concern about is having been appointed a judge at the high court, just at the beginning of a career, you are elevated and fast-tracked ahead of your superiors from the same high court to the Appeals Court, to the court of Appeal. We have expressed to the Supreme Court, that that can be a disincentive to judges who have played their part in public service to serve the country in that capacity at the high court which have not been recognized, and those at the Appeals Court.

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We respect the ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter, that the president can exercise that prerogative.



Is it fair that you be jumped over your superiors to the Supreme Court.

Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu:

It’s a constitutional mandate granted the president to appoint and there are criteria within which the person qualifies or doesn’t qualify.

Haruna Iddrisu:

Do you fall within that criteria?

Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu:

Yes I do

Haruna Iddrisu:

Which article in the constitution are you relying on?

Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu:

Article 128 (4)

Haruna Iddrisu:

Kindly read it for our purposes

Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu:

It says; “A person shall not be qualified for appointment of Justice of the Supreme Court unless he is of high moral character and proven integrity and is of not less than 15 years standing as a lawyer.

So three things; high moral character, Haruna Iddrisu: - Which we’ll be accessing here, Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu:, Proven integrity - Haruna Iddrisu: Which we’ll be accessing here; Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu:and not less than 15 years as a lawyer.

Haruna Iddrisu:

So how many years have you been?

Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu:

I’ve been 22 years.

Haruna Iddrisu:

We are concerned when we raise the concern, we state it as a matter of public concern that appointment and promotion to the judicial organ of state must be done with balance and respect for merit.

Background:

On July 26, 2022, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo nominated four persons for elevation onto the Supreme Court Bench.

The nominees are Justice Barbara Frances Ackah-Yensu, Justice George Kingsley Koomson, and Justice Samuel Kwame Adibu Asiedu, all from the Appeals Court. The only High Court judge who made the list is Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu.

They were referred to the Appointments Committee for consideration after Speaker Bagbin announced their nominations in the House in July.

Their appointment followed pending and projected vacancies at the Supreme Court this year.

You can also watch this episode of People & Places here:



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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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