Ghana is set to have its second successive Chief Justice. Justice Sophia Akuffo was nominated by President Akufo-Addo to replace Georgina Theodora Wood, the first female leader of the country’s judicial arm of government.
Justice Wood retired on June 9, 2017 after serving for close to five decades in the judiciary – spending the last decade as Ghana’s Chief Justice.
These are ten top facts about Georgina Theodora Wood
1. She was sworn in on 15 June, 2007 as Ghana’s 12th Chief Justice – and first female to hold the post.
2. She had prior to served as a Justice of the Supreme court for five years (2002 – 2007), she had served as Circuit and High Court judge on her way up.
3. She started her legal career as a deputy superintendent of police and a public prosecutor.
4. She was awarded the highest national order in 2017. She was sworn into office by the second President of the 4th Republic, John Agyekum Kufuor.
5. She swore in three presidents during her decade in charge – the incumbent Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (2017).
She swore in late John Evans Atta Mills (2009) and then twice swore in former President John Dramani Mahama (2012 – upon the death of President Mills) and in 2013 when Mahama eventually won 2012 polls.
6. She was a graduate of the University of Ghana, awarded a law degree (the LL.B.) in 1970. She attended the Ghana Law School after which she was called to the bar.
7. She became famed for a judicial inquiry (Georgina Wood Committee) which investigated missing parcels of cocaine from police custody.
8. Her tenure was hit by corruption in the judiciary after an investigative journalist published a documentary detailing deepening corruption in the judicial service. She composed a panel that probed the implicated judges, dismissing a number of them.
9. She was also hailed for empaneling Justices to sit on Ghana’s first presidential election petition in 2013 after the opposition challenged election results.
10. 70-year-old Madam Wood will now join the Council of State – a presidential advisory panel that requires that a living Chief Justice is automatically a member.