President Akufo-Addo yesterday extolled the virtues of newly appointed Chief Justice of the Republic, Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo.
That was after he had sworn her in as Chief Justice to take over from Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, who retired barely two weeks ago.
Speaking at the event, President Akufo-Addo, who administered the oath of allegiance, judicial oath and oath of secrecy to the new CJ, said, “I am confident that Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo will be an effective leader of the judiciary; and will guard jealously its independence. She will bring honour to the judiciary and to our country.
“Her attributes, befitting the offspring of a prominent Presbyterian priest – hard work, discipline, capacity for detailed research, intimate knowledge of the law, independence of mind and spirit, honesty and integrity, deep-seated respect for the rule of law and for the best traditions of the legal profession, abiding belief in the sovereignty of the Almighty God – will serve her well,” the said.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was of the firm belief that “these are the characteristics which sustained her brilliant career as a lawyer, and which propelled her to the notice of the 1st President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings, who appointed her to the Supreme Court on 30th November, 1995 – some 22 years ago.”
According to him, “Justice Akuffo, since then, has been one of the leading lights of the court, and her contribution to the court’s work and the growth of our nation’s jurisprudence has been extensive. She has justified the confidence reposed in her by President Rawlings.”
For him, “What is left is, she has now to justify the confidence I am reposing in her as Chief Justice.”
Even though Madam Akuffo would be walking in the footsteps of the previous occupants of the office – Arku Korsah, Julius Sarkodie Addo, Edward Akufo-Addo, E.A. Lankwei Bannerman, Samuel Azu Crabbe, Fred Apaloo, E.N.P. Sowah, Philip Archer, Isaac Abban, Edward Wiredu, George Acquah and Georgina Wood – Nana Addo said, “I have no doubt, however, that in her, we have a worthy successor to Chief Justice Wood and the others who have gone before her.
“I am certain that she will continue with Chief Justice Wood’s agenda – redeeming the image of the judiciary and strengthening its accountability, proceeding with the modernisation of judicial activities and establishing more specialist courts to improve the quality of judicial administration,” he declared.
For him, “These should be the hallmarks of her tenure as Chief Justice, so that together, the executive and the judiciary can co-operate, in a spirit of mutual respect, to realise the welfare and progress of our people.”
President Akufo-Addo, therefore, thanked the leadership and members of parliament for the expeditious manner in which Ms Sophia Akuffo’s vetting and subsequent approval were carried out.
He seized the opportunity to express appreciation to Justice William Atuguba for holding down the fort as Acting Chief Justice, when Chief Justice Georgina Wood retired.
Present were Vice President Bawumia, former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and Kufuor, Service Commanders, members of the Council of State, the diplomatic corps, the judiciary, the Bar, ministers, MPs, heads of state institutions, among others.
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo delivering her acceptance speech
Justice Sophia Akuffo
President Akufo-Addo with Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo