Nana Names New CJ

Gertrude Araba Esabaa Torkornoo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has nominated Gertrude Araba Esabaa Torkornoo, a Supreme Court Justice, to be Ghana’s next Chief Justice.

If approved by Parliament, the 60-year-old judge will take the place of Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, who will reach the statutory retirement age of 70 on May 24, 2023.

Justice Torkornoo would become Ghana’s third female Chief Justice, following in the footsteps of Justices Georgina Theodora Wood and Sophia Akuffo.

And Justice Torkornoo would be President Akufo-Addo’s third Chief Justice appointment since assuming office in January 2017.

In a letter to the Council of State, the President stated that Justice Torkornoo, who has been a member of the Judiciary for the past 19 years and has served on the Supreme Court for the previous four, is eminently qualified to serve as Chief Justice.

“I have decided to begin the process of appointment now. Article 144 (1) of the Constitution, which governs the appointment of a Chief Justice, requires that, I first consult with the Council of State before seeking the approval of Parliament.

“Consequently, I am nominating Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, a member of the Supreme Court, as the new Chief Justice. I hereby enclose a copy of her curriculum vitae for your attention,” excerpts of the letter said.

“I would be grateful for the Council’s expeditious action on Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo’s nomination, so that Parliament may be at the liberty to consider it as early as possible during its current session such that a new Chief Justice will be ready to be sworn into office upon retirement of Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah,” parts of the letter read.

Justice Torkornoo was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge on December 17, 2019 after receiving parliamentary approval.

She was also the supervising judge of the Commercial Courts in Ghana.

Born in Cape Coast to Abraham Kofi Sackey and Comfort Aba Sackey, Justice Torkornoo joined the bench in 2004.

Justice Torkornoo was appointed to the Court of Appeal in October 2012 before her elevation to the Supreme Court.

She attended Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast, where she earned her GCE Ordinary Level Certificate.

She subsequently went to Achimota School to complete her Advanced Level Certificate.

Her first degree was in Law and Sociology from the University of Ghana, and she graduated from the Professional Course in Law at the Ghana School of Law in 1986.

She has an LLM in Intellectual Property Law from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California, and a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in International Law and Organisations from the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands.

By Ernest Kofi Adu