Parliament is to begin the vetting of the four persons who have been nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as justices of the Supreme Court from May 11 to May 12, 2020, the Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Ms Kate Addo, has stated.
The four are Professor Henrietta J. A. N. Mensah-Bonsu, a Law lecturer of the University of Ghana, Legon; Mr Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, a private legal practitioner; Mr Justice Clemence Honyenuga and Mr Justice Issifu Tanko Amadu, both Justices of the Court of Appeal.
President Akufo-Addo forwarded the names of the four to Parliament on Thursday, March 19, 2020 for approval as justices of the apex court.
The move by the President was in line with Article 144 Clause Two of the 1992 Constitution which stipulates that justices of the Supreme Court “shall be appointed by the President, acting on the advice of the Judicial Council, in consultation with the Council of State and with the approval of Parliament.”
Prof. Mensah-Bonsu is a renowned professor at the Faculty of Law of the university and President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAA).
She served on the Legal Committee of the Ghana National Commission on Children, representing Ghana on the inter-governmental Meeting of Experts on the Draft African Charter on the Rights of the Child, served as a member of the President’s committee on the Review of the Education Reforms, the National Reconciliation Commission and the Ghana Police Council.
Mr Kulendi is a managing practitioner of Kulendi@Law, a commercial, litigation and constitutional law firm.
Previously, he was an associate barrister and solicitor at Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co.
He is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, Legon, with an LL.B Honours. He completed his law degree at the Ghana School of Law, where he obtained a Barrister of Law degree and a solicitor’s certificate.
Mr Honyenuga is currently the fourth longest-serving judge at the Court of Appeal. Apart from being a judge, he has served in various capacities at the Judicial Service, including Coordinator of the Justice For All Programme, while Justice Tanko Amadu is the 11th longest-serving judge at the Court of Appeal.
Parliament resumes May 19
The vetting of the four Supreme Court nominees will be preceded by the commencement of the second meeting of the fourth session of the seventh Parliament on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, who announced that in a statement issued on May 4, this year said the commencement of the second meeting was in pursuant to the Standing Order 37 of Parliament.
“In pursuance of the Standing Order 37 of the Parliament of Ghana, I, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, hereby give notice that the second meeting of the fourth session of the seventh Parliament of the 4th Republic shall commence on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 10 a.m. in the forenoon at the Parliament House, Accra,” he said.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, Ms Addo said the Business Committee of Parliament would, prior to the commencement of sitting of the House, meet to agree on the agenda to be set after which the agenda would be presented to the House.
Ms Addo said certain Bills which could not be passed by the House prior to rising would be brought before the House, while referrals to the various committees would be major items that would be considered in the next meeting of the House.
Sine die adjournment
The Speaker adjourned Parliament sine die on May 1, 2020 after 10 weeks and two recalled sittings from January 28 to May 1, 2020.
During the session, the House was able to hold 48 Plenary sittings during which 10 statements were made with the passage of a number of Bills.
The Bills included the Imposition of Restrictions Bill, 2020 (Act 1012), Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) National Trust Fund Act 2020 (Act 1013), Technical Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2019, Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Bill, 2019, Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, 2019.