The Minority in Parliament has served notice to boycott the vetting of the Chief Justice nominee, Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah. Justice Anin-Yeboah if approved by Parliament will succeed outgoing Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo who retires on December 20, 2019.
The Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joe Osei Owusu has proposed that the nominee be vetted before the 20th of December.
However, the National Democratic Congress(NDC) MPs on the Committee are accusing their colleagues on the Majority side of rushing the process to approve the nominee.
“Our position is that we don’t have to rush over the vetting of a Chief Justice because he’s going to be the head of the Judiciary. Yes, they said the current Chief Justice her tenure expires on 20th and we said they knew when she was going to retire three years ago when the President appointed her so the Presidency should have done what is necessary. Because we need to prepare, we need to read his judgments, we need to ask people about him. All these we believe is not in the interest of the Head of the Judiciary himself and Parliament to rush the process.
“Those of us in the Minority are saying that we are not going to be part of the vetting. It will mean that it will be a one-sided vetting.” Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak told Joy News.
But the Chairman of the Appointment Committee Joe Osei Owusu in response expressed surprise at the decision of the Minority to stay away from the vetting.
According to him, there was a consensus reached on the date to vet the nominee, adding that for anyone to suggest the process is being rushed is extremely unfair to the committee.
“We had a meeting on Thursday evening we discussed when we can do the public hearing having regards to the time period for this meeting that is outstanding. We discussed various scenarios I proposed that we do it on Thursday so that on Saturday when Parliament has already programmed to adjourn we would have finished and presented a report for the plenary to consider it.”
“After a number of discussions, it is the Minority Leader who proposed that at least we should cover the whole one week of notice and do the public hearing on Saturday which is the 21st and extend sitting to the Monday after which will be the 23rd. It was at that point that we agreed and we all gave instructions to the Clerk to issue the notices. For the Chief Whip to suggest that we wish to rush the process is to suggest that we are breaching a rule. for anyone to suggest the process is being rushed is extremely unfair to the committee.”