Ghanaians are likely to have another female Chief Justice (CJ) as the Council of State considers the nomination of President Akufo-Addo for the coveted position.
DAILY GUIDE’s reliable source indicates that the next Chief Justice to succeed outgoing Georgina Theodora Wood may be Justice Sophia AB Akuffo, who is seen as the most senior member at the apex court, having joined the bench in 1997.
According to the source, Justice Akuffo beat two other contenders – Justices Jones Victor Mawulom Dotse and Kwasi Anin-Yeboah for the topmost position of the judiciary because of her wealth of experience and her impeccable contributions to the country’s jurisprudence.
President Akufo-Addo is said to have submitted her name to the Council of State for advice after which it would be made public – subject to approval by the Council – before parliament finally gives its nod to the nomination.
She was said to have been appointed from private practice to the Supreme Court at a very young age in May, 1997 by the then head of state, Jerry John Rawlings.
She was not part of the panel that heard the 2013 landmark election petition filed by three prominent figures of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), including the then standard bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (now president).
Justice Akuffo holds an LLB in Law from the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, and an LLM Master degree in Law from Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Her publications include ‘The Application of Information & Communication Technology in the Judicial Process – The Ghanaian Experience,’ presented to the African Judicial Network, Ghana (2002).
Current Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood is leaving office in June after 10 years’ service as the head of the third arm of government – the Judiciary.
Sophia A.B. Akuffo has been a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana for the past two decades.
She trained as a lawyer under Nana Akufo-Addo. She has been a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and the Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force.
In January 2006, she was elected one of the first judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. She was initially elected for two years and was subsequently re-elected until 2014.
One of her famous cases is when she presided over the Montie 3 trial in 2016. The Montie 3 were a presenter and two panelists of Montie FM – a pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) radio station – who were charged by the Supreme Court of contempt.