As President Nana Akufo-Addo prepares to swear in his cousin, Sophia Akuffo, as the new Chief Justice of Ghana, today, the Akuffo family affair is stirring up a reminder of opposite roles that the siblings had played in a land looting drama under the erstwhile Kufuor regime.
In 2006, both Justice Sophia Akuffo and Nana Akufo-Addo had been on the list of beneficiaries of state lands that the Kufuor regime had shared as spoils of government.
However, while Justice Akuffo is believed to have accepted the land allocated to her, Nana Akufo-Addo, who was then the Foreign Affairs Minister, is said to have turned down the gift.
In turning down the offer, Akufo-Addo had described those who accepted the looted state lands as “immoral.”
Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, as an ‘immoral’ beneficiary of looted state lands under Kufuor had been the allocatee of 0.28 acre of land located in the prime, up-market Cantonments area, Osu In Accra.
Documents covering her acquisition of the land indicate that she had applied for the land on 3rd April, 2006 and the application had been approved a month later on 22nd May, 2006.
She had bought the land for a song, paying an insulting Ghc7,000 for that piece of terra firma in that prime area of the national capital, where a plot of land sells not less than $1million.
That acquisition of the incoming CJ had been part of a scandalous scramble for state lands that the NPP regime of President John Agyekum Kufuor had perpetrated.
A long list of ‘immoral’ beneficiaries included Kufuor regime actors, lecturers, some opposition party leaders and even outgoing Chief Justice, Theodora Georgina Wood, whom Kufuor had over ridden the Supreme Court’s pecking order to appoint as Chief Justice over Justice William Atuguba.
Mrs. Georgina Wood had been one of several ‘immoral’ beneficiaries of state lands belonging to the International Students Hostel, at Airport, where the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is now located.
Along with Mrs. Georgina Wood, other beneficiaries of the Airport lands had included Freddy Blay, the NPP’s current Acting Chairman, and Prof. Akua Kuenyehia, who was then Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Following a public outcry, Mrs. Georgina Wood had returned the land which according to her had been given her to replace her land at Akweteyman, a lowbrow suburb of Accra. That offer, she had said, had been made to her by phone call.
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a cousin of Nana Akufo-Addo, soon also came out to reveal that Akufo-Addo had also been offered some of the state lands but that he had turned it down, describing those who had accepted it as immoral.
Justice Sophia Akuffo is one of those people who had also been given parcels of the state lands by the Kufuor regime, but she apparently never turned hers down.
Today, at the Banquet Hall of the State House, President Akufo-Addo will be swearing in this “immoral” cousin of his as Chief Justice of Ghana.
Justice Sophia Akuffo, though well qualified, is widely seen as having been nominated Chief Justice because she is a cousin of the President. Her nomination had been an elbow out of turn to deny Justice William Atuguba, who was next in line after Theodora Wood for the Chief Justice position.
Sophia Akuffo is also just one of about 20 family members of the President that have been given appointments by Nana Akufo-Addo, in what has been scornfully described as ‘Akuffocracy’ – Government of the Akuffos, by the Akuffos, for the Akuffos.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels