Late lawyer Akoto Ampaw

Friends, loved ones and sympathisers have taken to social media to honour the accomplishments of Mr Anthony Akoto Ampaw, ace human rights activist, hours after the news of his demise broke. 

Mr Ampaw died at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) on Friday, October 2023, after a short illness. 

Scores of sympathisers expressed shock and shared emotional tributes, recounting his contribution to the nation’s legal and human rights architecture. 

Mr Kofi Bentil, a private legal practitioner, wrote: “Mr Ampaw, few have walked this earth with more heart, soul and wisdom. You will never be replaced. Rest well my mentor.” 

In another tribute on his Facebook page, Mr Bentil described Mr Ampaw as someone who “quietly makes monumental impacts and walks away from limelight till he is needed again!!” 

Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, a founding Member of the New Patriotic Party who is now anti-NPP, described the late Ampaw as a “true human rights lawyer.” 

“I have known him (Ampaw) for close to 40 years, we have done a lot of political activities together. He was a great activist and a true human rights lawyer,” he told TV3 on Friday.

Oliver Barker-Vormawor, lawyer and convenor of the #FixTheCountry movement wrote on X, (formerly Twitter) that, “I am unfit to unlace Akoto Ampaw’s boots. His humanity will endure twice his life.” 

Akoto Ampaw graduated from the University of Ghana Law Faculty with an LL.B. in 1973 and the Ghana School of Law with B.L. in 1993 and specialised in commercial law, company law, industrial law, litigation, constitutional and human rights law, media law, labour law, investment law among others. 

He was part of the New Patriotic Party’s legal team in the 2013 and 2021 Election petitions, which challenged the election of Mr John Dramani Mahama, and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo respectively.

As part of his human rights crusade, Mr Ampaw joined forces with individuals and civil society organisations that opposed the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill in Parliament. 

He is also known for his advocacy on human rights issues and has been involved in cases related to civil liberties, freedom of expression, and constitutional rights.