After putting their confirmation on hold for three months, Members of Parliament (MPs) have finally voted to approve the two Supreme Court nominees, Justices George Kingsley Koomson and Ernest Yao Gaewu, for appointment as justices to the apex court.
The lawmakers approved Justice George Kingsley Koomson, nominated from the Court of Appeal, by 139 votes to 133, and endorsed Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu, nominated from the High Court, by 138 votes to 134, following an emotional debate in the House last Friday night.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, announced the results and declared the nominees’ approval after a secret voting.
The two judges were nominated by President Nana Akufo-Addo alongside Justices Barbara Frances Ackah-Yensu and Samuel Kwame Adibu Asiedu, who were confirmed last year.
The Minority NDC caucus initially opposed the confirmation of the two nominees after arguing that Justice Gaewu was once a parliamentary candidate on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The NDC MPs again said Justice Koomson “just joined the Court of Appeal,” and that there were other competent and qualified justices who could have been elevated to the Supreme Court instead of him.
After subjecting all the justices to public hearing, the Appointments Committee’s report, which was laid in the House on December 7, 2022, was silent on Justices George Kingsley Koomson and Ernest Yao Gaewu, after the Minority kicked against their nominations to the Supreme Court.
On July 26, 2022, Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, announced the nominations in Parliament, while reading a communication from the presidency.
He said President Akufo-Addo explained that the appointment was as a result of pending and projected vacancies at the Supreme Court this year.
The Speaker said the letter of the President also indicated that the Judicial Council advised him (President) on July 4, 2022 by a letter under the hand of its Chairperson, Chief Justice Annin Yeboah of the suitability of his nominations for appointment to the court for the named persons in accordance with Article 144 Clause 2 of the Constitution of the Republic.
“Upon receipt of the Judicial Council’s advice and in accordance with my duty under Article 144 Clause 2, I consulted the Council of State by submitting the names and curriculum vitae of the nominees for appointment to the court,” the Speaker quoted the President as saying.
“The Council of State has, by a letter dated July 26, 2022, notified me of the successful completion of the consultation process,” President Akufo-Addo reportedly said.
“I am therefore, in accordance with Article 144 Clause 2, seeking the approval of Parliament for the appointment of the nominees as justices of the Supreme Court.
“Their CVs are hereby attached. I am fully satisfied that each of these persons is duly qualified and eminently fit to discharge the functions of a justice of the Supreme Court,” the correspondence intimated.
Speaker Bagbin said the President had asked the House to expeditiously proceed with the approval of the nominees to enable them assume office as soon as practicable.
Mr. Bagbin consequently referred the nominees to the Appointments Committee for consideration and report to the House.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House