President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday sworn into office Mr. Justice Anin Yeboah as the 14th Chief Justice of Ghana.
At a ceremony at Jubilee House, the seat of the presidency, President Akufo-Addo expressed his confidence in Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, stating that he “will be an effective leader of the Judiciary, guard jealously its independence, bring honour to the Judiciary and to Ghana, and be a worthy successor to Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo”.
The President also demanded “decency, discipline, fairness, hard work, deep seated respect for the rule of law, and the continuing modernisation of judicial activities to be the hallmarks, too, of his era as Chief Justice.”
In his speech at the ceremony, the President indicated that the choice of Mr. Justice Anin Yeboah as the 14th Chief Justice was not a difficult one to make, in view of his level of qualification, the number of years served with distinction on the Bench in the Superior Court of Judicature, totaling seventeen years, initially in the High Court, then at the Court of Appeal, and, finally, at the Supreme Court, and the considerable experience garnered as a result.
After graduating from law school, Mr. Justice Anin Yeboah started off as an Assistant State Attorney at the Office of the Attorney General, in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region, and, after a long period as its Secretary, he was subsequently elected President of the Eastern Regional Bar Association.
He served as High Court Judge from 2002 to 2003, became an Appeal Court Judge from 2003 to 2008, and was appointed onto the apex court, the Supreme Court, in 2008, by the 2nd President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor. He is currently Chair of the Governing Board of the Legal Aid Commission.
Describing Mr. Justice Anin Yeboah as one of the leading lights of the Court, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the contribution of the 14th Chief Justice to the Court’s labours and to the development of its jurisprudence has been extensive.
“His association with the beautiful game saw him become Chair of the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association, with the success of his work earning him a place on the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA, the global body responsible for the management of world football,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “In 2016, he was first selected to be a member of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, and, in May 2017, at the organisation’s 67th Congress, he was elected Chair of FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee. It says much for the acknowledgment of his integrity that these appointments occurred at a time when world football was undergoing its greatest ethical crisis in modern times.”
The President assured Chief Justice Anin Yeboah of his determination to be a reliable and trusted partner of the Judiciary, so that the Executive and Judiciary can co-operate in a spirit of mutual respect to entrench good governance for the advancement of the Ghanaian people.
“I want to underline this assurance by indicating my willingness and preparedness to address the infrastructural challenges to the satisfactory functioning of the courts that so engaged the attention of Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, and which she so vividly highlighted during her time in office,” he added.
With the appointment of the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah taking place at the beginning of a new year in a new decade, “a decade in which hope, optimism and progress will define the unfolding Ghanaian reality”, President Akufo-Addo noted that all Ghanaians have a joint responsibility to work together for the Ghana project.
“This is a collective enterprise to which we should all commit ourselves, in unity and in sincerity, so that we can realise in our generation the dreams of freedom and prosperity that animated the great patriots who founded our nation. For my part, I have an unshakeable faith in the boundless prospects of Ghana’s future, and will do everything possible to reach out for it, the radiance of the Black Star,” he added.
The President was confident that Chief Justice Anin Yeboah will be a noble actor in this historic endeavour, and also congratulated him on his appointment, and wished him well and God’s guidance in the performance of his great duties.
With the swearing-in of Chief Justice Anin Yeboah being the second time President Akufo-Addo is discharging this constitutional obligation, he paid tribute to the 13th Chief Justice, Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo.
Describing her tenure of office as being characterised by “her well-known qualities of hard work, discipline and integrity, and by an exceptional focus on the infrastructural needs of the courts and the modernisation of their processes”, the President stressed that Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo justified the confidence he reposed in her, and wished her a well-earned rest.
He also conveyed this appreciation to Mr. Justice Julius Ansah for holding the fort, briefly, as Acting Chief Justice, during the period of the retirement of Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo and the swearing into office of Chief Justice Anin Yeboah.