President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sworn into office 15 Justices of the Court of Appeal at a short ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra.
The Justices, 10 men and five women are Justice Ackah Boafo, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, Justice Alex Owusu-Ofori, Justice Emmanuel Ankamah, Justice Jerome Noble-Nkrumah, Justice Mrs Gifty Agyei Addo, Justice Samuel Obeng-Diawuo and Justice Mrs Hafisata Amaleboba.
The rest are Justice Jennifer Abena Dadzie, Justice Charles Ekow Baiden, Justice Stephen Oppong, Mr Patrick Kwamina Baiden, Mr Christopher Archer, Prof. Mrs Olivia Anku-Trede and Dr Ernest Owusu-Dapaah.
President Akufo-Addo administered the Oath of Office, the Judicial Oath and the Oath of Secrecy.
Addressing the Justices on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo said the new Justices are eminently fit and qualified for the position of Justice of the Court of Appeal and have the impartiality of mind and independence of spirit to hold this high office.
He said the country’s Constitution affirms final judicial power in the State and that the Judiciary has the exclusive jurisdiction in all matters of the breach of the law, civil and criminal, including matters relating to the interpretation and enforcement of the Constitution.
The Judiciary, the President indicated, has the onerous responsibilities to protect the individual liberties and fundamental human rights of citizens and act as the arbiter in disputes between the State and the citizen.
Additionally, it acts as the arbiter in disputes between citizens and serves as the bulwark for the promotion of the orderly development of our nation and the defence of the liberties and rights of our people.
President Akufo-Addo told the Justices to bear in mind that the growth of the nation demands that the country has a Judiciary that commands the respect of the people by the quality of its delivery of justice, as well as by the comportment of its judges.
It is important, he stated that “we have judges who are honest, possess integrity and a sound knowledge of the law.”
He said in situations where judges proffer judgments based on decisions from lower courts and cite them as law, is not acceptable and even less so, when judges cite no authority at all for their rulings and give orders without reasons.
The transparent and efficient delivery of justice, he explained, builds confidence in citizens, businesses and the investor community, especially when the government is doing everything possible to create jobs for the country’s youth.
The President asked the Justices to take advantage of the government’s digitisation drive, amidst the e-justice system, which is designed to leverage technology in the delivery of justice.
That, according to President Akufo-Addo, would expedite the conduct of cases that come before them and in the management of the Court.
The President said since his government on assumption of office, introduced a number of policies to help bridge the technology gap and harness the power of technology to advance the rule of law.
That, he noted, is critical in this modern era, if the Judiciary is to maintain the confidence of the Ghanaian people and shore up the nation’s reputation as a country governed in accordance with the rule of law.
On behalf of her colleagues, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, said they recognised the onerous responsibility placed on them as Appellate Judges and “we undertake to discharge our duties through fidelity to the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
She said they also undertake to pursue their calling with diligence and contribute their quota to the enrichment and development of the country’s jurisprudence and in the interest of justice.
Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe assured the President and all Ghanaians that “I’m whose name and on whose behalf judiciary power is exercised, that we shall continue to leave up to the trust repose in us.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD