The Chief Justice nominee, Justice Anin Yeboah has dismissed claims that he has not declared his assets since his appointment to benches of the country’s Superior Courts.
According to him, when he was appointed as a Supreme Court judge in June 2008, the then Chief Justice, Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, compelled him to declare his assets.
“When we went to the Supreme Court [as judge], the [then] Chief Justice [Georgina Theodora Woode] insisted and we complied and I have also submitted one [asset] to the Auditor General,” Justice Anin Yeboah said at his vetting in Parliament on Monday.
A private citizen, Mensah Thompson last week petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Appointments Committee of Parliament over claims that the nominee had not declared his assets.
According to the petitioner, any parliamentary approval of Justice Anin Yeboah will go contrary to Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution because he has allegedly not disclosed his assets and liabilities as required.
Mr Thompson argued that Justice Anin Yeboah, prior to his nomination as the Chief Justice, had been a Justice of the Court of Appeal and was required under the Constitution to have declared his assets and liabilities.
But the nominee told Parliament that he had accordingly declared his assets.
CHRAJ petition won’t affect our work – Parliament
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu has said that the petition to CHRAJ will not affect the committee’s work.
He said CHRAJ’s investigation has no direct bearing on Parliament’s vetting or its result.
“There has been so much publication of a petition before CHRAJ for which reason it was not expected that this public hearing will come on. Let me put on record that the Supreme Court has decided that nobody can interfere with the proceedings in Parliament. Whatever is before CHRAJ is to be investigated. What they do there has nothing to do with what we do here so the press persons who are speculating should please leave Parliament to do its work here but the nominee has said he has complied,” he said.
Justice Anin Yeboah’s nomination
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, earlier this month, nominated Supreme Court judge, Justice Anin Yeboah, as the new Chief Justice of Ghana.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, who read a speech on behalf of President Akufo-Addo in Parliament said the President was fully confident in Justice Anin Yeboah’s capacity to ’eminently’ occupy the office of Ghana’s Chief Justice.
The President also disclosed that he consulted the Council of Elders prior to the nomination of Justice Anin Yeboah.
“In order to avoid a vacuum in the office of the Chief Justice following her retirement, I decided to initiate the processes for the appointment of her successor. To that end, a letter dated 2nd December 2019, pursuant to Article 144 (1) of the Constitution, I consulted with the Council of State on my nominee, Mr. Justice Anin Yeboah, who has been at the Supreme Court for the last 11 years and 5 years on the Court of Appeal prior to that, to succeed Chief Justice Akuffo.”
“The Council of Elders have notified me by letter under the hand of the Chairperson, dated 11th December 2019, of the successful completion of the consultation process. Thus, in accordance to Article 144 (1) of the Constitution, I write to inform you that I have nominated Justice Anin Yeboah for approval by Parliament as the next Chief Justice. I’m fully satisfied that Justice Anin Yeboah is qualified and eminently fit to occupy the office of Chief Justice.”