ACCRA, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana has warned that his government will not provide immunity for wrongdoers and that those who flout the law will face the prescribed sanctions, irrespective of creed, status or political affiliation.

I assure the country that my government will not shield anyone found to have broken the laws of this country … Application of the laws of the land must occur without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, and, therefore, without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliations of any citizen of the land,” he said when he swore into office the new Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, here Monday.

When you fall foul of the law, you must be dealt with accordingly, and the law enforcement agencies, including the Judiciary, must ensure this is done. To persons perpetrating acts of lawlessness in the name of being members of the ruling party, let me make it clear to you that you will find no shield in my government from the law.”

The president said he was optimistic that Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo would bring honour to both the Judiciary and the country. I am confident that she will be an effective leader in the judiciary, and will guard jealousy its independence She will bring honour to the Judiciary and to our country.

Justice Sophia Akufo, Ghana’s 13th chief justice and the second woman to assume that position, succeeds Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, who retired early this month. She took the oaths of Allegiance, Judicial and Secrecy; and received the instrument of appointment from the President.

President Akufo-Addo said Justice Sophia Akuffo’s noted attributes of hard work, discipline, capacity for detailed research, intimate knowledge of the law, independence of mind and spirit, honesty and integrity, deep-seated respect for the rule of law and for the best traditions of the legal profession, abiding belief in the sovereignty of Almighty God, would serve her well in her new office.

He said those characteristics were what had sustained Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo’s brilliant career as a lawyer, and which propelled her to the notice of the first President of the 4th Republic, Jerry John Rawlings, who appointed her to the Supreme Court on 30th November, 1995, some 22 years ago.

Since then, the president stressed, Justice Sophia Akuffo has been one of the leading lights of the Court, and her contribution to the Court’s work and the growth of our nation’s jurisprudence has been extensive.

The President also paid tribute to former Chief Justice Wood for her leadership of the Judiciary over the course of the past decade. As the twelfth Chief Justice, the first woman to head the Judiciary, and its longest serving leader, President Akufo-Addo noted that her career has been extraordinary, truly historic, and, amongst others, she has the enviable record of having sworn into office three Presidents of the Republic.

The ultimate test of her leadership, he said, came two years ago, during the dramatic expose of corruption in the Judiciary by one of the nation’s leading investigative journalists.

We have not yet lived down the trauma of the excruciating shock and embarrassment of seeing officers of our courts in such compromising situations. She, however, quickly rose to the challenge, and introduced reforms to restore some dignity to the Judiciary and re-establish the confidence of Ghanaians in the Judiciary, he said.

The President continued, I pay warm tribute to her distinguished service to our nation, and wish her a well-earned retirement, even though her public service is still not over, as she has now to take her place on the Council of State as a former Chief Justice. President Kufuor’s judgement, in selecting her for the office, has been roundly vindicated.