The deadly Corona Virus has claimed the life of another prominent Ghanaian. Within the week past, the deadly disease has wiped off some important Ghanaian personalities from the surface of the earth.
They include Nanabenyin Pratt, the younger brother of veteran journalist, Kwesi Pratt; the MD of Best Savings and Loans, Philip Odei; the Head of Corporate Banking, Finance, Fidelity Bank, Leonard Gikunu; the Executive Secretary of the Coalition of NGOs in Water Sanitation, Ben Arthur.
The rest are the CEO of Chocho Industries, Oti Boateng; National Security Coordinator and member of the 2021 Transitional Team, Joshua Kyeremeh and Associate Director of Ashesi University College, Francis Awua Kyerematen.
A leading and founding member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Amoako Tuffour is the other leading personality to die of the Covid-19 disease. His death was announced on Thursday, January 21st, 2021 at the 37 Military Hospital.
Dr. Amoako Tuffour was a Senior Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi and lectured Civil Engineering before he later entered into full time politics.
He was also the pioneering founder of the School Feeding programme under President John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration from 2001 to 2009 and was a presidential advisor in the first administration of President Akufo Addo.
The landmark case that unearthed Tsatsu & Akufo Addo as promising lawyers
Dr. Amoako Tuffuor shot to political stardom in 1979 in the often referenced legal landmark case, Tuffuor vrs Attorney General. In the process, he virtually unearthed the legal genius in two budding lawyers at the time.
The two lawyers helped Amoako Tuffour to torpedo attempt by the Limann administration to unconstitutionally change the Chief Justice at the time. Today, Nana Akufo Addo, the President and Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata are no more legal bedfellows; they are political adversaries.
Tsatsu is the lead counsel for former president John Dramani Mahama, challenging the 2nd term election victory of Akufo Addo at the Supreme Court. Then a young Civil Engineer, Amoako Tuffour boldly challenged the decision by the 1979 Parliamentary Vetting Committee to reject the nomination of Justice Frederick Apaloo as the Chief Justice of Ghana.
Having served as the Chief Justice of the Appeal’s Court in the Progress Party (PP) administration of the 2nd Republic in 1969, there was subtle maneuvering by Dr. Hilla Limann’s People’s National Party (PNP) administration to replace Justice Apaloo with Justice ENP Sowah as the Chief Justice.
The PP was an antecedent of the United Party (UP), while the PNP took its root from the CPP. So it was a rekindled war of the UP and CPP represented by proxies. Justice Apaloo was seen as United Party (UP) person because he served under the administration of the Progress Party.
In the view of Amoako Tuffuor, at the coming into force of the 1979 constitution on 24th, September 1979, Justice Apaloo was the Chief Justice and was therefore deemed to have been appointed Chief Justice, the president and member of the Supreme Court.
The highest court at the time was the Court of Appeal of which Justice Apaloo served as the Chief Justice. The decision to create a Supreme Court by Dr. Busia’s Progress Party administration was torpedoed by the 1972 coup of General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.
Dr. Limann then decided to upgrade the Appeal’s Court to a Supreme Court and needed a Chief Justice to head the new and the highest court of the land. Although Justice Apaloo was the Chief Justice, the consideration was that because the Supreme Court was an upgrade of the Appeal’s Court, there was the need for the Chief Justice nominee to be vetted by the 1979 Parliamentary Vetting Committee.
Dr. Amoako Tuffuor sought the services of the two budding lawyers to help him adjudicate the matter. The State was represented by then Attorney General, Joe Reindolf and his deputy, A.L. Djabetey.
In the estimation of Mr. Reindolf, Dr. Tuffuor’s writ suffers a still-birth, by questioning the locus of the KNUST Lecturer, in bringing an action in defence of Mr. Apaloo. He further argued that the matter concerned Mr. Apaloo in his capacity to act as the Chief Justice and therefore Mr. Apaloo himself should have begun the court proceedings, if he felt so strongly aggrieved by the decision of Parliament to disqualify him to be the Chief Justice of the 3rd Republic.
In a counter motion, the lawyers for Amoako Tuffuor argued that the Chief Justice’s office is of paramount interest to Ghanaians and therefore it’s an issue of interest to any individual Ghanaian who wants to pick up issue with the unjustified disqualification of Mr. Apaloo by Parliament.
Again Akufo Addo and Tsatsu held the view that the action of the Plaintiff, Amoako Tuffour, was to ensure that provisions in the constitution in relation to the tenure of the Chief Justice were strictly adhered to.
The Government’s contention was that at the promulgation of the 1979 constitution, there was no Supreme Court. The highest court of the land was the Appeal Court, of which Justice Apaloo, headed as the Chief Justice; and therefore needed to go through an approval process to qualify both as Supreme Court member and subsequently, as the Chief Justice.
Mr. Reindolf further asserted that granted Justice Apaloo became the Chief Justice by default on the coming into force of the 1979 constitution, his decision to appear before the Parliamentary Appointment Committee negated any such immunity provided him by the 3rd Republican constitution; and should therefore suffer any such consequence thereof.
However, the Court of Appeal dismissed the claim by the Attorney General on the grounds that, even if given that Justice Apaloo was Chief Justice of the Appeal Court under the 1969 constitution, the Chief Justices of both the 69 and 79 constitutions were supposed to preside over all courts within the superior courts of judicature.
With this the Court of Appeal affirmed Justice Apaloo as the Chief Justice of the 3rd Republic. to 2nd term.
By Richmond Keelson