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In fulfilment of Article 144(3) of the 1992 Constitution and upon the advice of the Judicial Service Council, five personshave been appointed to the high office of Justices of the Court of Appeal, bringing the total number of Justices of that Court to 31.


The Justices— three men and two women—are Justices Nicholas Charles Abbey Agbevor, Alex Berchie Poku-Acheampong, Anthony Kwadwo Yeboah, Merley Afua Wood and Amma Abuakwaa Gaisie.


Presenting them with their Instruments of Appointment, after they took the Official Oath of Allegiance, Judicial Oath, and the Oath of Secrecy, at a short ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra on Wednesday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, described them as eminently fit and qualified for the position of Justices of the Court of Appeal.


President Akufo-Addo reminded the Judiciary of its onerous responsibilities to protect individual liberties and fundamental human rights of citizens, act as the arbiter in disputes between the State and the citizen, as well as the arbiter in disputes between citizens.


The Judiciary, he said, also served as the bulwark for the promotion of the orderly development of the nation and for the defence of the liberties and rights of the people.


The President urged the Justices to bear in mind that the development of Ghana demanded that the country had a Judiciary that commanded the respect of the people in terms of the delivery of justice as well as the comportment of its judges.


He underscored the importance of honesty, integrity and a sound knowledge of the law in the discharge of their duties, adding that the law should be applied without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and, therefore, without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliations of any citizen of the land.


President Akufo-Addo said when people fell foul of the law, it was necessary that culprits be dealt with accordingly and the law enforcement agencies, including the Appeals Court, ensure that justice was served or seem to be done.


“We cannot have development, which will bring jobs to our youth, without order,” he warned.


The President said the strict application of the laws of the land would help restore the confidence of the Ghanaian people in the Judiciary, especially, following the recent dramatic exposure of corruption in the Judiciary by one of the nation’s leading investigative journalists.


He urged the Judiciary to help facilitate the work of Special Prosecutor to ensure accountability from public officials, past and present, who engaged in acts of corruption and financial malfeasance.


President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his government to building a new Ghanaian civilization, where the rule of law was not a slogan, but an operating principle for the development of the State, where the separation of powers was real and meaningful, where public officials behaved with honesty and integrity, where the liberties and rights of the people were fully protected and where law and order provided a firm basis for social and economic development.


On behalf of the newly sworn-in Justices, Justice Merley Afua Wood pledged to work hard for the betterment and development of the country.


Political scientists and experts in constitutional democracy have referred to the Judiciary, which is one of the most important arms of Government, as largely responsible for the preservation and longevity of the 4th Republic.


The 1992 Constitution also affirms that final judicial power of the State is vested solely in the Judiciary, and not in any other agency or organ of the State, be it the Presidency or the Parliament.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)