Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu

Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu has commended ‘the good judgment’ of Supreme Court nominee, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, insisting his public apology for endorsing President Akufo-Addo should put the matter to rest.

According to him, explanation by the judge that his statement was to attract development as spokesperson of the traditional rulers at a durbar in the Afajato South District should be enough.

“What was particular was that he said he is sorry and apologized. I do not think anybody should want to hold this against him beyond ‘I am sorry and I apologized.”
“However, we urge that ethical standards and ethical values be held at this highest level of the Supreme Court.”

The Minority leader made the call when he seconded the motion for Parliament to approve President Akufo-Addo’s nomination of four persons to the Supreme Court.

The nominees, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga and Justice Tanko Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu of the Appeals Court, Mr. Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, a Constitutional lawyer and human rights advocate and Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, an astute law professor, will replace some justices at the Supreme Court due for retirement.

Justice Honyenuga had incurred the displeasure of the Minority with his endorsement of President Akufo-Addo, which they insisted was contrary to ethics of his office.

The refusal of the Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu, for the Minority to question the nominee on the subject caused a further rift.

There was speculation the Minority would not approve the nomination of Justice Honyenuga after the Chief Whip expressed shock at some of his responses at the Committee’s sitting.

Haruna Iddrisu, however, suggested his side has gone beyond their initial stance after the apology.

Parliament subsequently, unanimously approved the nomination of the four after a recommendation by the Appointments Committee.

President Akufo-Addo, on 19th March 2020 submitted the names of the four nominees to Parliament in accordance with Article 144(2) of the 1992 Constitutions.

The Appointments Committee subsequently invited memoranda from the public on the four persons before proceeding with the vetting on 12th and 13th May 2020.

The Committee report submitted by the Chairman, 1st Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu, recommended the four persons for approval by the House.

The Committee, he said, is satisfied with their strong characters, their competences, independent thinking, and depth of knowledge of the law.

According to him, the nominees assured of their will to be above partisanship and interpret the law without fear or favour in the discharge of their duties.

“They also demonstrated to the Committee that the Constitution being a living document will not be interpreted with their biases and that the spirit and letter of law will prevail for the good of the citizenry.”

“No evidence of corruption, incompetence, or bias in the performance of their respective roles in the legal sector was brought before the committee.”

“The Committee, therefore, finds the nominees suitable to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Ghana and therefore recommends their nominations.”