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Martin Luther Kpebu, a private legal practitioner, has indicated that the time is not appropriate for the President to be making a decision as crucial as appointment of Supreme Court judges.

According to him, with just about five months for the President to exit office, he cannot be making such sensitive appointments.

The Chief Justice of the Republic, Gertrude Araba Essaba Torkornoo, has written to the President for the appointment of five more judges to be added to the Supreme Court judges.

Following the request, the President has made five nominations to be added to the number of judges at the apex court.

But Mr. Kpebu is saying it does not sit well for the CJ alone to make such a request to the Supreme Court.

He says although it is not illegal for the CJ to do so, it would have been better for the discussion to be broadened on the matter, especially when the addition seeks to breach the convention of having 14 judges at the Supreme Court now.

“Akufo-Addo has just about five months to leave office, we should not allow him to make a decision as momentous as appointing Supreme Court justices,” the ace lawyer stated on the KeyPoints Saturday, July 06, 2024.

He added that “justice emanates from the people so we needed to have a debate.”

He noted that the African Peer Review Mechanism even agrees with a 14-member convention, adding that “even if we want to go beyond it, there should be a national discussion.”

The renowned lawyer added that the inclusion of the judge presiding over the ambulance procurement trial, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, raises a lot of suspicion.

The trial is a highly political case involving a former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, who is now Minority Leader in Parliament, and businessman, Richard Jakpa.

The duo is standing trial for the procurement of some ambulances for the State which were not fit for purpose, and therefore being charged for causing financial loss to the state.

It has emerged that the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who is prosecuting the matter has been accused of attempts to impress upon the third defendant in the matter, Richard Jakpa, to falsify his testimony against the Minority Leader to get him imprisoned.

In one of Jakpa’s testimonies, he noted that the A-G had told him he has made arrangements for his acquittal once he obliges by his demands.

This, is what Martin Kpebu thinks makes the judge’s inclusion suspicious.

According to Kpebu, it is possible that the supposed arrangement Mr. Jakpa said the A-G has made includes conniving with the judge to get him (Jakpa) freed.

He says the judge’s inclusion can bring confusion especially at this time when the utterances of the A-G, per Jakpa’s testimony, appears to implicate the judge in question.

“Once it’s come out that Jakpa says in his tape that Attorney-General says things have been arranged,… [and] in Ghana here, if the Attorney-General is saying that things have been arranged in a trial, naturally you’ll think about communication with the judge etc. We can’t shy away from this thing. Let’s be very open, otherwise our democracy will not grow,” he stated.

The lawyer added that when he saw the list, he asked if the inclusion of the judge’s name on the list was part of the “things have been arranged” allegation made by Mr. Jakpa in court.

Read also:

Inclusion of Justice Asare-Botwe on Supreme Court nominations raises suspicion – Kpebu – OnuaOnline