President Akufo-Addo, on Friday, swore into office two newly appointed Justices of the Supreme Court, Clemence Jackson Honyenuga and Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu, at separate ceremonies at Jubilee House.
Justice Clemence Honyenuga was the first to take his oath of office.
President Akufo-Addo administering the oath to the new Justice noted that he had met the stringent requirements of Article 128 clause (4) of the Constitution, and has demonstrated the independence of spirit, proven integrity, high moral character, and impartiality of mind to hold this high office.
According to the President, “your track record, over the last 39 years, speaks for itself – Assistant State Attorney, private legal practitioner, Judge Advocate of the Ghana Navy, Justice of the High Court, Additional High Court Judge sitting on civil matters, narcotics, robbery, and other violent crimes, Director of the Remand Prisoners Project, and long-serving Justice of the Court of Appeal.”
He continued “Your appointment to the highest court of the land is, thus, truly well-deserved and merited. The post-1966 Supreme Court has developed a positive reputation for the quality of its constitutional jurisprudence, and I am hopeful that you, who have already had good experience of high judicial office in the Court of Appeal, will help strengthen the development of our nation’s constitutional and other jurisprudence in the Supreme Court.”
With Justice Honyenuga having endured a difficult time lately, the President applauded him for comporting himself in a dignified manner.
“I can only urge you to overlook these events, which should be a mere blip on your public career, and dispense justice in accordance with your conscience and the rule of law. It is extremely important that you ensure the strict application of the laws of the land, in the words of the judicial oath, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, which you have just taken, and, therefore, without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliations of any citizen of the land,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo urged Justice Honyenuga to make sure that when anyone falls foul of the law, the law enforcement agencies, including the Judiciary, must ensure the person is dealt with in accordance with law.
At the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Tanko Amadu, President Akufo-Addo stated that this is the first time in the nation’s history that a Muslim has been appointed to the highest court of the land, adding 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 found his own firm in 1997, Justice Tanko 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.
With the Constitution of the Republic affirming that final judicial power in the State is vested solely in the Judiciary, and not in any other agency or organ of the State, the President noted 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.