The newly nominated Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Justice Sophia Akufo, will come face to face with the Appointments Committee of Parliament for public hearing today, Friday, June 16, 2017.
The event is expected to last for 660 minutes which translates into 11 hours.
The Appointments Committee had originally scheduled Justice Akufo to appear before on Monday, June 19, 2017. However, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu told journalists at a news conference on Tuesday, June 14, 2017, that the rescheduled date was to “fill the vacuum created by the retired Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Georgina Theodora Woode.”
“We considered all the circumstances and as a Committee we reviewed the fact that to date no petition has been brought against the new Chief Justice. We considered the fact that rather than allowing the fourteen days interval we planned earlier, it will be helpful to abridge the time and do it as quickly as possible. After these considerations, we decided to reschedule the consideration of her nomination to Friday to enable us use the whole day for the program and also use the weekend to prepare the report which most probably by Monday, will be ready for it to be considered by the plenary. This will enable her to start work next week in full and the administration of justice can be carried on without any delay,” he noted.
Hon. Osei Owusu also announced new changes as to how the Committee will approach the vetting of the new Chief Justice.
Per the changes, each Committee member will have twenty (20) minutes to ask his or her questions.
Besides that, the hearing will also see the Chairmen and Ranking members of the Constitution, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as well as the Judiciary Committees of Parliament join them (Appointments Committee).
That means 33 Members of Parliament (25 members from the Appointments Committee and 8 from the other Committees) from both sides of the House will be grilling the new Chief Justice on her public life, matters on the Judiciary as well as public interest questions.
Should each of the 33 members exhaust the 20 minutes timeframe, it means the Committee will sit for 660 minutes which translates into eleven hours (11hrs).