Petition for the removal of CJ lacks factual, legal basis – Kwaku Asare
The petition for the removal of Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, which was filed by Mr Mensah Thompson, the Executive Director of pressure group Alliance for Social Equity & Public Accountability (ASEPA), lacks legal basis and should be dismissed immediately, Kwaku Asare, a United States-based Ghanaian professor, has said.
He wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, 13 November that: “I do not understand the petition for the removal of the Chief Justice. It seems to lack a factual or a legal basis. It must be dismissed immediately. There is no need to allow it to sit there and cast a cloud on the Chief Justice and the Judiciary.”
Mr Thompson on Monday, 12 November petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to remove the Chief Justice from office on grounds of “stated incompetence.”
Article 146 (6) of the 1992 Constitution states that if the president is petitioned for the removal of the Chief Justice, he shall, in consultation with the Council of State, appoint a committee consisting of two justices of the Supreme Court.
“The committee appointed under clause (6) of this article shall inquire into the petition and recommend to the president whether the Chief Justice ought to be removed from office.”
Mr Mensah Thompson, in his petition, stated that: “The conduct of the sitting Chief Justice … clearly shows her incompetence in managing the highest office of the judiciary, which has a constitutional mandate to be fair, just and equitable in the application of the laws of Ghana”.
Explaining his tiff with the Chief Justice, Mr Thompson said the African Court for Human and People’s Rights (AfCHPR) last year issued a provisional measure to have all proceedings halted on the Woyome v. Republic of Ghana case.
“Mr. President, last year when the interim measure was issued on the state, there were several pronouncements by Deputy Attorney General Godfred Dame, indicating that Ghana was not bound by the measure.”
“It was a bit worrying to see the Deputy Attorney General espouse a position that was clearly in contravention with Article 40 under which the treaty derives its powers locally.”
“More worrying was that the Supreme Court also came out with a position that it does not share its powers with any other body.”