Chief Justice (CJ), Sophia A.B. Akuffo, has paid a glowing tribute to one of the longest serving judges of the Supreme Court (SC), Justice William Atuguba on his retirement from public service.
Justice Atuguba retired from the judicial service on July 1, 2018 after 44 years of service.
At a public lecture to honour him on the occasion of his retirement from the bench after 22 years, the CJ said the retired judge has an exemplary “record of true service to the nation.”
She described Justice Atuguba as a “real example” of integrity and selflessness.
“I wish to thank you Justice Atuguba for your many years of service and hard work,” the CJ stated while referring to Justice Atuguba as “my twin brother who has now abandoned me.”
Commenting on his contributions to the legal system in Ghana, Ms Akuffo explained that “it is with mixed feelings that we see Justice Atuguba go into retirement,” adding that the nation cannot thank him enough.
She expressed the hope that as he enjoys his life after retirement, he will continue to make his vast knowledge and experience available to the judiciary, especially, the young lawyers and judges.
Life On The Bench
Both Justices Atuguba and Akuffo are believed to be the longest serving judges at the SC as at July this year, after both of them were appointed to the Supreme Court on November 30, 1995 during the ex-President Jerry John Rawlings National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
Delivering a keynote address at the lecture under the theme: A Life On The Bench – The Contributions of Justice Atuguba To Constitutionalism and The Rule of Law In Ghana, Justice Professor Samuel Date-Bah observed that Justice Atuguba’s role in the 2012 Election Petition between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the then NDC government headed by ex-President John Mahama, helped to make him more popular.
During the controversial 2012 Election Petition, Justice Atuguba, was the president of the nine-member panel which gave legitimacy to the Electoral Commission’s declaration of John Mahama as winner of the presidential election.
Justice Atuguba was first enrolled as a magistrate on 3 October, 1974.
During the 44 years of his legal career, he worked as a private lawyer and served as a prosecutor and state attorney before being appointed as a Supreme Court Judge.
He was the acting Chief Justice from May 25, 2016 until June 3, 2016 when Justice Georgina Theodora Woode was outside the country on official duties.
A retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Akamba, described Justice Atuguba as “Sir Williams,” saying “the Knighthood was conferred on him by his colleagues at the Supreme Court.”
He attributed many of his successes as a judge to the assistance Justice Atuguba and other kind judges within the judiciary rendered to him.
Meanwhile, in a brief remark, Justice Atuguba called for the strengthening of institutions in Ghana to help fight corruption and abuse of public resources, especially the country’s natural resources.
A citation of honour read by the Dean of Law at the Ghana Institute of Public Administration (GIMPA), E. Kofi Abotsi, was presented to Justice Atuguba at the function.