The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has eulogised the soon-to-retire Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo.
The GBA praised her highly for her strong advocacy in upholding and maintaining high standards, professional ethics, dignity and integrity in the legal profession in Ghana.
A citation read by the President of the Ghana Bar Association, Anthony Forson, at a thanksgiving service in her honour at the Kaneshie Presbyterian Church.
It stated that “You marshalled the closure of dilapidated court structures which is evidence of your deep desire to ensure that the places of justice delivery in this country are dignified.”
That was not all.
The citation further stated “during your long career as a lawyer and a Judge, you exhibited exceptional leadership qualities which are evident for all to see. You displayed leadership in your relationship with the Bar and Bench. You engaged with several Regional Bars when you toured the various regions in the country.”
The response of Her Ladyship
Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, in her response to the eulogy of the Ghana Bar Association said she acknowledges that her relationship with the Bar over the years has been “bittersweet”.
She explained that this “is how the best relationships normally are because without friction, you don’t get movement.
“We are able to move only because of the friction between our feet. I am very grateful to the Ghana Bar and to Mr Forson for his kind words. From the sidelines, I am still going to be very critical about standards because as for standards, we must never let them drop,” added.
The District Minister of the Tema North District of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Dr George Kwapong, delivered the sermon at the Thanksgiving Service.
He admonished the outgoing Chief Justice and the congregation of judges, lawyers, and Judicial Service staff to offer their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ and live according to the tenets of scripture as has been the story of Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo.
He urged journalists in Ghana to be circumspect with their reportage in order not to divide the country unnecessarily.
The road to retirement
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo will retire from the Judiciary and from the Bench on the 20th of December, 2019, as she attains the age of seventy (70), which is the retirement age for serving Justices of the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo enrolled in the Bar in Ghana on the 2nd of October, 1975.
From her practice as a lawyer, she was identified by the then President Jerry John Rawlings and elevated to the Supreme Court of Ghana in November 1995 and has served to date.