Chief Justice of Ghana: List of all chief justices in Ghana since independence

Chief Justice of Ghana: List of all chief justices in Ghana since independence

The Chief Justice of Ghana is the senior-most officer of the judiciary in the country. The CJ is tasked with numerous responsibilities, key among them presiding over the Supreme Court proceedings and the oversight of the country's Court of Appeal. Since attaining independence, Ghana has had several Chief Justices.

who is the chief justice of Ghana in 2022
Some of Ghana's Chief Justices since independence. Photo: @theghanaweb, @ghanashub, @alchetronapp, @vestadailygh (modified by author)
Source: Instagram

The Chief Justice (CJ) is usually appointed by the president and assumes office after approval by the country's senate.

People who have served as the Chief Justice of Ghana

Here is a look at the different people who have held the CJ position since Ghana's independence in 1957.

Sir Arku Korsah, Esq: 1956-1963

current chief justice of Ghana
Sir Arku Korsah. Photo: @ghanashub
Source: Twitter

Sir Kobina Arku Korsah became the first African Chief Justice of Ghana (then known as Gold Coast) on 18th April 1956. Before his appointment, he was one of two Ghanaians to be appointed to the Legislative Council by the then governor of the country, Sir Alan Burns.

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After the 1962 Kulungugu attack on President Kwame Nkrumah, Sir Arku Korsah presided over the trial proceedings of five defendants. The trial ended with three of the five accused persons being found not guilty, a verdict that did not go down particularly well with President Nkrumah, who fired him from the CJ position.

Julius Sarkodie-Addo, Esq: 1964-1966

Julius Sarkodie-Addo was appointed the country's second Chief Justice in 1964 by President Kwame Nkrumah. However, he was forcefully removed by the military in 1966. His removal resulted from the February 1966 coup that overthrew Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Julius Sarkodie-Addo passed on in January 1972, Accra.

Edward Akuffo Addo: 1966-1970

who is the current chief justice of Ghana
Edward Akuffo Addo. Photo: @wikipedia
Source: Instagram

Edward Akuffo Addo was a Ghanaian lawyer and politician. He was a member of the famous 'Big Six' leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) as well as one of the Ghanaian founding fathers who fought for the country's independence.

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After serving as a Supreme Court Judge, Edward Akuffo became the Chief Justice of Ghana. He was appointed by the National Liberation Council (NLC) in 1966 and served as Chief Justice for four years. After leaving the office of Chief Justice in 1970, Edward Akuffo became the president of Ghana.

Edmund Alexander Lanquaye Bannerman, Esq: 1970-1972

Edmund Bannerman was a Supreme Court judge in 1970. In the same year, he served as the acting Chief Justice after Edward Akuffo ascended to the presidency. Edmund was officially appointed as the Chief Justice of Ghana in 1971.

He served in the position between 1970 and 1972 and was the fourth person to hold this position since Ghana's independence in 1957. However, he was removed from office by the National Redemption Council, the military government that took power after the coup of 13th January 1972.

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Samuel Azu Crabbe, Esq: 1973-1977

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Samuel Azu Crabbe. Photo: @theghanaweb
Source: Twitter

Samuel Azu Crabbe was a barrister, solicitor, and jurist. He received his appointment as Chief Justice of Ghana by the National Redemption Council in 1973 and served in the position for four years. Crabbe received an award from the International Association of Trial Lawyers in 1977, recognizing his achievements. He died at the age of 86 in Accra, Ghana.

Fred Kwasi Apaloo, Esq: 1977-1986

Frederick Kwasi Apaloo was a renowned Ghanaian barrister and judge. He served as the country's Chief Justice between 1977 and 1986. Interestingly, he was also appointed the Chief Justice of Kenya from 1993 to 1995.

Fred Kwasi succeeded Samuel Azu Crabbe in 1977. He was appointed by General Acheampong of the Supreme Military Council. Fred Kwasi remained the Chief Justice of Ghana after the nation resumed democratic leadership under Hilla Limann in September 1979.

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Ernest Nee Pobee Sowah, Esq: 1986-1990

Chief Justice of Ghana: List of all chief justices in Ghana since independence
Ernest Nee Pobee. Photo: @theghanaweb
Source: Instagram

Ernest Sowah succeeded Fred Kwasi Apaloo and was appointed Chief Justice of Ghana by President Jerry Rawlings in 1986. He served during the military era of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

Although he was past the compulsory retirement age, PNDC had him as Chief Justice for four years, a move that was immensely controversial at the time.

Philip Edward Archer, Esq: 1991-1995

Philip Edward Archer had a decorated career in Ghana's judicial service. He was appointed Registrar General, Judicial Secretary, High Court Judge, and Supreme Court Judge during his illustrious career. The former CJ retired from judgeship in 1983, but that did not limit his capacity to become the Chief Justice.

In 1991, President Jerry Rawlings appointed him the Chief Justice of Ghana. He served in the position until 1995, after which he retired. His service to Ghana earned him the Order of the Star of Ghana. Phillip Edward Archer died in Ghana on 10th May 2002.

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Isaac Kobina Abban, Esq: 1995-2001

who is the current chief justice of Ghana
Isaac Kobina Abban. Photo: @theghanaweb
Source: Instagram

Isaac Kobina was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ghana after rejoining the Ghanaian judicial service in 1993. He previously served as the Chief Justice of Seychelles from 1990 to 1993. On his return, President Jerry Rawlings appointed him as the Chief Justice of Ghana on 22nd February 1995.

Justice Abban was due to retire on 1st May 2001 for health reasons. Unfortunately, he passed on a few days before his retirement, aged 67 years.

Edward Kwame Wiredu: 2001-2003

who is the chief justice of Ghana
Edward Kwame Wiredu. Photo: @theghanaweb
Source: Instagram

President John Kufuor appointed Chief Justice Edward Kwame Wiredu in 2001. He served in the CJ position for two years before retiring for health reasons. Before his appointment, he served as an Appeal Court Judge and a Supreme Court Judge.

Although his term was short, Edward Kwame Wiredu is renowned for introducing Ghana's Fast Track High Courts, the Judicial Institute, and Alternate Dispute Resolution. He died at the age of 73 on 31st January 2008.

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George Kingsley Acquah: 2003-2007

who is the chief justice of Ghana
George Kingsley Acquah. Photo: @alchetronapp
Source: Instagram

George Kingsley was appointed by President John Kufuor and served as the country's Chief Justice until he died in 2007. He assumed office after succeeding Edward Kwame Wiredu on 4th July 2003. Unfortunately, he died of an ailment while in office.

The former Chief Justice was appointed High Court judge in September 1989 and then proceeded to become an Appellate Court judge in June 1994. Finally, he was appointed Supreme Court judge after one year in the Appeal court. He was 65 years old at the time of his demise.

Georgina Theodora Wood: 2007-2017

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Georgina Theodora. Photo: @powerinawomantv
Source: Instagram

Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood was appointed the first female Chief Justice of Ghana in May 2007. On 15th June 2007, Georgina was sworn into office by President John Kufuor and became the 12th Chief Justice of Ghana.

Before her appointment, Georgina Wood had worked in the judicial service for 35 years. She was a District Magistrate in 1974 and rose through the ranks to become a Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal in 1991. She swore in four Ghanaian presidents within the ten years she held the position.

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Her tenure as Chief Justice ended when she retired in June 2017, creating room for Sophia Akuffo.

Sophia Abena Boafa Akuffo: 2017- 2020

current chief justice of Ghana
Sophia Abena Boafa. Photo: @afnanjutt01
Source: Instagram

Nana Akuffo Addo appointed Sophia Akuffo on 11th May 2017. Her long service in the judiciary largely influenced her appointment as the CJ. She served as Supreme Court judge for 22 years (from 1995 to 2017) before her appointment.

Sofia Akuffo was sworn in as the 13th Chief justice of Ghana by President Akuffo Addo on 19th June 2017. She held the position until 2020 when she paved the way for the next CJ.

Kwasi Anin Yeboah: 2020- Date

who is the chief justice of Ghana in 2022
Kwasi Anin Yeboah, the current CJ of Ghana. Photo: @vestadailygh
Source: Instagram

who is the current chief justice of Ghana in 2022? The answer is Anin Yeboah, Sophia Akuffo's successor. The country's current CJ is also an accomplished lawyer. He was nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in December 2019.

Anin Yeboah assumed office on 7th January 2020. This marked the first time in 13 years the office was under a male Chief Justice.

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How much is the Chief Justice of Ghana's salary?

Currently, the Ghanaian Chief Justice earns about GHC 32,242 ($4,885.15) per month. This figure came after a recent salary increase that also saw other members of the country's judicial system get pay rises.

What is the work of the Chief Justice in Ghana?

The Chief Justice presides over the sittings of the country's Supreme Court whenever present. They also oversee the overall administration of the Court of Appeal, of which they are the senior-most member. The CJ is also a member of the regional tribunals and an administrator of the High Court.

Who chooses the Chief Justice in Ghana?

The Chief Justice is usually appointed by the sitting president and then confirmed by the senate. While there is no requirement for one to have served as an Associate Justice before being appointed to the position, five of the country's CJs have served as Associate Justices before their appointment.

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The office of the Chief Justice of Ghana is an essential part of the country's judicial system. Since independence, various people have held the position, most from presidential appointments and a few as a result of military rule.

READ ALSO: All 16 regions in Ghana and their capitals: Complete guide recently published an article about the 16 regions in Ghana and their respective capitals. The establishment of regions in the country ended the numerous petitions from as early as 1954. The regionalization happened in 2019 under the presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo.

The country held a referendum to carve new regions after the president promised better governorship during his election campaign. All areas that participated in the region creation referendum showed massive support for the idea. So, what are the 16 regions and their capitals?

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