Parliament has by majority vote approved the nomination of Justice George Kingsley Koomson and Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu, for appointment as Justices of the Supreme Court.
President Akufo-Addo, in a letter dated 26 July 2022 and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, in accordance with Article 144(2) of the constitution, announced the nomination of Justices Barbara Frances Ackah-Yensu, George Kingsley Koomson, Samuel Kwame Adibu Asiedu and Ernest Yao Gaewu for the high office of Justices of the Supreme Court.
The President by his letter, was also seeking legislative approval for his nominees to the Apex Court of the land. In his letter, the President explained that the appointments had become necessary because of pending and projected vacancies on the Supreme Court bench before the end of 2022.
The appointments committee (AC) of Parliament, in its 27th report on the president’s nominees for appointment as justices of the Supreme Court, recommended by consensus the nominations of Justice Barbara Frances Ackah-Yensu and Justice Samuel Kwame Adibu Asiedu.
The recommendations were subsequently adopted by the plenary after the appointments committee’s report was laid. Justice George Kingsley Koomson and Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu, on the other hand, had their nominations approved by majority decision of the appointments committee, making their final approval subject to either consensus or by secret ballot by the whole House.
After over two hours of voting, when the results were tallied, Justice George Kingsley Koomson, had 139 MPs voting “Yes” to approve his nomination while 133 voted “No”. Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu on the other hand secured 138 “Yes” votes and 134 “No” votes.
President Akufo-Addo when he swore in Justice Barbara Frances Ackah-Yensu and Justice Samuel Kwame Adibu Asiedu on Wednesday 28 December 2022, noted that the new judges have been appointed to fill the vacancies in the judiciary created by the death of Justice Samuel Marfo-Sau on 10 August 2021 and the retirement of Justice Yaw Appaw on 2 August 2021.
“I await Parliament’s approval of the two remaining nominees – Justice George Kingsley Koomson and Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu – to fill the vacancies created as a result of the retirement of Justice Clemence Honyenuga, which took place on 4 September 2022, and Justice Agnes Dodzie, who retired on 2 October 2022,” President Akufo-Addo said at the swearing in of the two Justices who had their nominations approved by consensus.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the administration of justice in Ghana. The court is presided over by the Chief Justice; in his/her absence, the most senior of the justices of the Supreme Court as constituted presides.
Members of the judiciary who sit in the Supreme Court are referred to as justices of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice and no fewer than nine justices.
It has exclusive original jurisdiction in all matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of the 1992 constitution. It also has supervisory jurisdiction over all the courts in Ghana. It is located only at the Judicial Service headquarters in Accra.
Justices of the Apex Court
There are 14 Supreme Court justices, according to the most recent listing on the website of the Judicial Service of Ghana (www.judicial.gov.gh). With the approval of Justice George Kingsley Koomson and Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu, it will bring the number to 16.
The Justices of the Supreme Court include His Lordship Justice Anin Yeboah (the Chief Justice), His Lordship Justice Jones Dotse, His Lordship Justice Paul Baffoe Bonnie, His Lordship Justice Gabriel Pwamang, His Lordship Justice Nene Abayaateye Ofoe Amegatcher, His Lordship Justice Professor Nii Ashie Kotey, and Her Ladyship Justice Mariama Owusu
The other judges are, Her Ladyship Justice Avril Lovelace Johnson, Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, His Lordship Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu, Her Ladyship Justice Professor Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu, His Lordship Justice Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, Her Ladyship Justice Barbara Frances Ackah-Yensu and His Lordship Justice Samuel Kwame Adibu Asiedu.