Chief Justice not by seniority; Dotse isn’t superior – Ndebugri
Private legal practitioner, John Ndebugri, has said that the selection of a Chief Justice should not be based solely on who was called to the bar first.
He said the global practice is to select the head of the judiciary based on the policies of the government in power.
President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo has nominated Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah subject to Parliamentary approval, to replace Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo who is due to officially retire on December 20, 2019, having presided over her last case on 18 December 2019.
The Minority in Parliament and other individuals made a case for Justice Jones Dotse instead of his compatriot who he joined the Supreme Court with on the same day in June 2008.
However, Dotse is said to be the senior among the two because he graduated from the Ghana School of Law in 1978 while Anin-Yeboah followed in 1981.
Some hold the view that given that Justice Dotse graduated earlier, he is the senior among the duo hence should be given the position.
However, lawyer Ndebugri is of the view that it should not be the case.
“We don’t appoint Chief Justices just because of seniority and it is so all over the world, it is not only in Ghana. You appoint a Chief Justice possibly for policy reasons,” he told Benjamin Akakpo on the Executive Breakfast Show on Class91.3FM on Wednesday.
Admitting that he is not aware of any policies that might have informed the decision of President Akufo-Addo, the lawyer further explained that: “After the departure of Chief Justice Akuffo, the most senior will be Justice Julius Ansah, followed by Justice [Jones] Dotse, followed by Justice Anin-Yeboah so I don’t see the argument that it ought to be Dotse”.
He maintained that if the criteria were to be based on seniority as argued by some individuals then the next in line will not be Justice Dotse, as suggested.
Meanwhile, Parliament has scheduled December 21 for the vetting of Justice Anin-Yeboah, amidst threats of a boycott by the Minority on the Appointments Committee over breach of procedure.