Judges who became speakers of Ghana’s Parliament

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     For the first time in the history of Ghana’s Parliament, the two leading political parties who have representatives in the House, have equal numbers, with one outstanding representative, who came to the house as an independent candidate.

    While others have tipped the independent candidate from Fomena to exercise the deciding vote when the House is split on equal numbers during voting, others suggest that the delicate Parliament ought to be moderated and fathered by a speaker who is not partisan.

    This is what has brought up the contemplation of a justice of the court as a speaker, believing that per their training and honour, judges have what it takes to stay neutral yet manage the House and its affairs fairly and firmly.

    Ghana’s Parliament is not new to having a judge as its speaker. While the debate as to who becomes the Speaker rages on, Dennislawgh.com presents the biographies and information on some of the past Speakers of Parliament who were judges and what they had achieved in the judiciary before assuming speakership position. 

    1.

    Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo, JSC (born 26 March 1937) is a Ghanaian barrister and judge who served as the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana from 2009 to 2013. The Speaker’s position is the third most important in Ghana. She was previously a Supreme Court Judge.She joined the inner temple in UK for her Law studies,and was later called to the english bar in 1961 and practised in the UK for a year before returning to Ghana. She has held some positions within the judiciary which include State Attorney – 1963 – 1965 Senior State Attorney – 1965 – 1970 Principal State Attorney – 1970 – 1973 Chief State Attorney – 1973 – 1976 Director, Public Prosecution – 1976 – 1986 2nd Deputy Speaker, Consultative Assembly 1991 Supreme Court Judge – 1991 – 2004. Following her appointment to the Supreme Court bench, she became the first woman to become a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana. She was also the first woman to be elected Speaker in such a position in the West African sub-region. Her active campaign for women’s empowerment was demonstrated in many workshops.

    2.

    Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph (6 September 1914 – 25 July 1986) was a judge and also the speaker of the Parliament of  Ghana during the Third Republic. He was also the first Ghanaian to become Commissioner of Income Tax.he attended the all-boys’ Anglican boarding school, the Adisadel College, then joined John Holt trading company, rising to the position of Regional Manager and representing the company in Kumasi. Later, Griffiths-Randolph resigned and travelled to London in order to further his education. He successfully completed his legal education at Inner Temple In 1952, after which he returned to Ghana.He was appointed a Superior Court judge by the new government and served in Bolgatanga, Cape Coast, Tamale and finally Accra, where he was till he retired from the Bench in 1979

    3.

    Augustus Molade Akiwumi (1958 — 1960) was a Supreme Court Judge and also the second speaker of the Parliament of Ghana.

    Augustus Akiwumi was born in Nigeria but became a naturalised Ghanaian.In 1910 he was sent to live with guardians, a Smith family of Crosby Cumbria in England. He attendedQueen’s College,Taunton, somerset. He proceeded to the Fitzwilliam college, Cambridge University, where he studied Law.He also trained as a banker at the Midland Bank, Ludgate Hill, London, prior to his return to Ghana.He was called to the bar at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 1921.He became a judge in Ghana and was appointed a Supreme court judge.In 1964, while he was a High Court Judge in Ghana, he was appointed Legal Secretary in the East African Common Service Organisation. He was later appointed Speaker of the Parliament in February 1958 in the Dominion of Ghana.

    4.  

    Raphael Nii Amaa Ollennu JSC FGA (21 May 1906 – 22 December 1986) was a jurist and judge who became a Justice of the Supreme Court Of Ghana from 1962 to 1966, the acting President of Ghana during the Second Republic from 7 August 1970 to 31 August 1970 and the speaker of the parliament of Ghana from 1969 to 1972.He went to England to study jurisprudence at the Middle Temple, London and was called to the Bar in 1940 after having taken 18 months to complete a three year course passing with distinction – earning recognition from the Queen’s Council.The first person in his family to qualify as a Lawyer, he was registered as Raphael Nii Amaa Ollennu in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) register in 1940.He later became a puisne judge in 1955, rising through the ranks to become a High Court judge and on 1 September 1962, elevated to a Justice of the Supreme court of Ghana. He also published books on various legal topics and was an authority on traditional African land-tenure system. He was also actively involved with the General Council of the world alliance churches.He served as the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences  from 1969 to 1972

    5.   

    Justice Daniel Francis Kweipe Annan(November 7, 1928 – July 16, 2006) was Speaker of the parliament of Ghana from 1993 to 2001. He was a member of the Provisional national defence Council government which governed Ghana prior the fourth republic and was Chairman of the National Commission for Democracy

    Justice Annan then proceeded to the United Kingdom to study law at the University of Hull. He obtained the LLB(Hons) degree in 1956 while there. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple, UK, in 1958.

    Justice Annan worked at the Attorney General’s department in Accra, Ghana from 1958 to 1964. He rose from Assistant State Attorney, through State Attorney and finally worked as Senior State Attorney during that period. He joined the bench in 1964 as a Circuit Court Judge for two years. He was promoted High Court Judge in 1966 and then Appeal Court Judge in 1971.He served as the Stool Lands Boundaries Settlement Commissioner and also as a Member of the Legal Class Appointment Board from 1974 to 1976. Other positions held by Daniel Annan include Chairman of the Press Freedom and Complaints Committee of the Ghana Press Commission in 1980 and Chairman of the Ghana Police Council in 1984 as well as Chairman, National Economic Commission in 1984.