Ghana gets First Muslim Supreme Court Judge at last
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Accra – President Akufo-Addo has on Friday made history by becoming the first and only president to swear in a Muslim Judge as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana.

His Lordship Justice Issifu Amadu Tanko was sworn into Office together with Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga on May 22, after the duo among four Judges successfully passed their vetting at parliament.

At the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Tanko Amadu, President Akufo-Addo stated that “I am delighted to have been the President to have the honour of doing so, and to do so appropriately in this Holy Month of Ramadan.”

Having worked as a lawyer in the great Federal Republic of Nigeria for 19 years, and going on to start his own firm in 1997, Justice Amadu was appointed to the High Court in 2008, and, four years later, was promoted to the Court of Appeal, the President stated that, by dint of hard work and merit, he has been further elevated.

The President also said that the Judiciary has onerous responsibilities to protect the individual liberties and fundamental human rights of citizens, to act as the arbiter in disputes between the State and the citizen, to act as the arbiter in disputes between citizens and all persons, and to serve as the bulwark for the defence and promotion of the liberties and rights of the people.

“With all other Courts bound to follow the decisions of the Supreme Court on questions of law, it is obviously critical that Justices of the Supreme Court possess a sound knowledge of the law, and of precedent, the principle of stare decisis,” he added.

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He observed that the situation where judges proffer judgements on the basis of 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.

“Judges, more so Justices of the Supreme Court must be learned, know their case law and ensure their decisions and judgements are properly motivated. It is in this manner that judges contribute to the orderly development of the nation,” the President said.

President Akufo-Addo encouraged Ghanaians to work together for the realisation of the Ghana project – a united Ghana, driven by considerations of social justice and solidarity, and governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability.

“In these not-so-normal times, the era of the Coronavirus pandemic, in which we find ourselves, we must hold on firmly to these values, and work, within the confines of an open society, towards the defeat of the virus,” he added.

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