Yonny Kulendi And Justice Torkornoo Become Leading Contenders In Ghana’s Quest For Next Chief Justice

Yonny Kulendi And Justice Torkornoo Become Leading Contenders In Ghana’s Quest For Next Chief Justice

  • Justice Yonny Kulendi's name has popped up as a more likely replacement for CJ Kwasi Anin Yeboah
  • According to a report by the New Crusading Guide newspaper, President Nana Akufo-Addo prefers Justice Kulendi to Justice Gertrude Torkornoo
  • State-owned Daily Graphic newspaper had published earlier that Justice Torkornoo was going to be named the 15th CJ of Ghana

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It has emerged that a respected member of the Supreme Court bench Yonny Kulendi is most likely to become Ghana's next Chief Justice and not Justice Gertrude Torkornoo as previously rumoured.

Justice Torkornoo's name popped up in a report by the state-owned newspaper Daily Graphic as the replacement for Justice Anin Yeboah who has attained retirement age.

Yonny Kulendi is rumoured to be the next CJ not Justice Torkornoo
L-R: Yonny Kulendi, President Akufo-Addo and Justice Getrude Torkornoo. Source: Facebook/@nakufoaddo, African Women In Law
Source: Facebook

According to the state-owned newspaper, multiple sources have confirmed that President Nana Akufo-Addo will nominate Justice Torkornoo as the next CJ for Parliament's approval in the coming days.

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The news was well received by some members of the legal fraternity. Many see a Justice Torkornoo nomination as signalling diversity within the justice delivery system.

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Kwaku Azar's Justice Torkornoo comment.
Professor Stephen Asare, an astute legal practitioner, is among people who commented favourably about the rumours JSC Torkornoo will become the next CJ. Source: Facebook/@kwaku.azar
Source: Facebook

Yonny Kulendi's name pops up as next CJ

However, in a new twist, another newspaper has reported that Yonny Kulendi, a feared lawyer who was appointed to the Supreme Court bench in 2020, will be Justice Yeboah's replacement.

The News Crusading Guide newspaper carried a story on April 21, 2023, with the headline "Search for CJ: Justice Kulendi is the Next Chief Justice…Akufo Addo swerved Gertrude Torkornoo", claiming JSC Torkornoo will not be nominated as the next CJ.

Justice Anin Yeboah to retire in May

Kwasi Anin Yeboah, 70, will retire on May 24, 2023, as the 14th Chief Justice of Ghana after four years in office.

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Justice Anin Yeboah replaced Justice Sophia Akuffo in December 2019. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by President John Agyekum Kufuor in 2018.

Chief Justice Anin Yeboah denies $5m bribery allegation

In July 2021, YEN.com.gh reported that Justice Anin Yeboah denied claims that he took a $ 5 million bribe to sway a decision in a court case.

Per a statement dated Monday 12, July 2021, he made an appeal to the then Commissioner of Police (COP), Isaac Ken Yeboah, and the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to initiate a criminal probe into the issue.

The damaging allegation started when Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV filed a claim to the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council against a lawyer known as Akwasi Afrifa.

Ogyeedom claimed he paid Akwasi Afrifa $100,000 on the basis that he would get a pleasing judgment on his behalf.

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But in his response to the complaint against him, Afrifa stated that the petitioner (Ogyeedom) told him (Lawyer Afrifa) to refund a GH¢300,000 legal fee paid to him to allegedly enable him (Ogyeedom) to raise a $ 5 million bribe to be paid to the Chief Justice to get a favourable decision in a pending legal dispute.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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