Parliament to 'grill' Sophia Akuffo for CJ position on June 19

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The Appointments Committee of Parliament is promising a vigorous screening of Chief Justice nominee Sophia Akuffo who is scheduled to appear before the committee next Monday.

The president appointed Madam Akuffo last month as a replacement for retired Chief Justice Georgina Wood who left office last Thursday.

The Joseph Osei-Wusu-led committee is expected to interrogate Madam Akuffo on a wide range of issues including her vision for the position.

The format for the screening will be different from what was the case during the vetting of ministers and deputies

Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent, Joseph Opoku Gakpo, explained that unlike the ministerial vetting which was solely done by members of the Appointments Committee, the Chairman will invite other parliamentarians to join in the vetting of the Chief Justice nominee.

The possible MPs to join include the Ranking Member and Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Ben Abdallah Bandah, MP for Offinso.

Minority members of the Appointment Committee

Also, the Ranking Member and Chairman of Judiciary Committee of Parliament will join the vetting which is expected to last the whole day.

Additionally, beyond the public notices, which has been issued for memoranda to be submitted, the committee has requested for some of the judgments the incoming Chief Justice has delivered and some papers she has written.

They are expected to study all these and question her on them. 

According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a member of the Appointments Committee, they have met to review their procedure, which will allow for more probing and inquiring approach.

“Changes should be expected because we are growing as a parliament and we take the public feedback seriously.

“Based on feedback we have received on the vetting of ministers, and our own review and assessment that we have carried on, it has become necessary to review our work,” he said.

The MP for North Tongu will not talk about the details of the new procedure but assured that the public will notice a remarkable change, which is in the interest of the public.

He implored on the nominee to give off her best. 

On whether the Minority will ask difficult questions of Justice Sophia Akuffo he said, "it is not an issue of being hard or harsh but rather about creating the right conditions for thorough work." 

He believes this will enable nominees to give off their best going forward as "it is not tailored to be intimidating or unfair to future nominees."