The Chronicle, in its Tuesday, April 4, 2023 edition reported that Justices Yoni Kulendi and Gertrude Torkornoo were in the race to succeed Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, who is due for retirement.
The Chronicle,in the said story, tipped Yoni Kulendi to be the next Chief Justice, with Gertrude Torkornoo also in the race.
Nearly a month after this publication, President Akufo-Addo has written to the Council of State, naming Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo as his nominee for Chief Justice.
The letter, dated April 25, 2023 was enclosed with the curriculum vitae of the nominee.
President Akufo-Addo in the letter said he did not want to create a vacuum upon the retirement of Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah on May 24, thus commencing the process for replacement.
She needs to be vetted and approved by Parliament before she could be sworn into office.
But in accordance with Article 144 (1), the President had to consult the Council of State on the nomination, before proceeding to Parliament.
The letter said “Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah is due to retire from the bench on May 24, 2023 his seventieth birthday. In order to avoid a vacuum and ensure that a new Chief Justice is immediately in office after his retirement, “I have decided to begin the process of appointment now.
Article 144 (1) of the constitution, which governs the appointment of a Chief Justice, requires that, I, first consult with the Council of State before seeking the approval of Parliament.
“Consequently, I am nominating Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, a member of the Supreme Court, as the new Chief Justice. I hereby enclose a copy of her curriculum vitae for your attention,” excerpts of the letter said.
If approved by Parliament and subsequently sworn into office by the President, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo would become the third female Chief Justice in the history of Ghana. She would follow Justices Georgina Theodora Wood and Sophia Akuffo.
Gertrude Torkornoo hails from Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana. Gertrude, 61, was born on September 11, 1962 in Cape Coast.
In January 1997, she co-founded Sozo Law Consult where she worked as Managing Partner until May 14, 2004 when she was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Ghana.
She worked as a High Court judge until October 2012 when she was elevated to the Court of Appeal.
In November 2019, Justice Torkornoo was nominated to the Supreme Court of Ghana, sworn into office on December 17, 2019.
She has held several leadership roles in the judicial service. In her work as chair of E-Justice Committee, she has led the planning of automation of all levels of courts, procurement and incorporation of the use of electronic resources and software in the work of the Judicial Service.
She has also served as the Supervising Judge of commercial courts since 2013 where she has set the agenda for and chaired the meetings and programs of the Users Committee of the Commercial Courts.