The Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo, has praised the outgoing Chief Justice’s strong principles in a farewell address at the Supreme Court, Wednesday.

Sophia Akuffo leaves office on Friday after a 24-year run on the Supreme Court bench, which includes two years as the Chief Justice.

Speaking at a short valedictory ceremony at the Supreme Court in Accra, Gloria Akuffo said, “It is not often that I struggle for words but I confess that I struggle to find appropriate words to pay tribute to a Chief Justice who is my niece and who has become a big sister figure and a mentor that I call Sisi in private and when I think nobody is within earshot.”

She said the cordial relationship she shares with the CJ made it difficult for her to find the appropriate way to relate to her in public.

“I attempted to bow to Her Ladyship with my forehead almost touching my knees…she opened her arms to hugged me….but I did not allow that to deceive me knowing her strong principles. And I recall the Right Honourable Peter Ala Adjetey, may his soul rest in peace, who taught me that principle is indivisible. I have lived it with Her Ladyship as we work together,” Gloria Akuffo touted.

She also praised the outgoing Chief Justice for her strong stance on the legal education debate in Ghana.

Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo leaves office as a fierce advocate of high standards in legal education.

As head of the General Legal Council, the regulator of legal education in Ghana, she has come under attack for what critics say is her excessively conservative stance on legal education.

Her critics cite the results in this year’s Ghana of School entrance exams where over 90 per cent of students who sat for various papers failed, as a testament of her heavy-handedness. Results showed that of the 1,820 candidates who sat for the entrance exams, only 128, representing 7 per cent.

Sophia Akuffo was appointed Chief Justice by President Nana Akufo-Addo in May 2017 ahead of Justices Jones Dotse and Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.