Lawyer Philip Addison, the man who is famous for his role as lead counsel for President Akufo-Addo in the 2012 election petition, has since that petition, been on a meteoric rise into the frontlines of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Even though the 2012 election petition ended up as a high profile case loss of Mr. Addison’s legal career, the man’s guerrilla-style disputation during adjudication earned him a lot of affection within the now ruling NPP.
And so, even though Mr. Addison, shortly after the election petition, had failed to genuinely win the party’s Parliamentary primary for the Klottey Korle constituency, a star-struck NPP, orchestrated the loss of his opponent, Nii Noi Nortey, who eventually contested the 2016 Parliamentary election as an independent candidate.
Philip Addison had gone on to lose against the National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s Dr. Zanetor Rawlings in the Parliamentary election for Klottey Korle, but President Akufo-Addo’s election as President created expectation that Mr. Addison would be one of his first appointees.
However, almost five months into the regime of Akufo-Addo, who has since appointed an unprecedented 110 ministers, Mr. Addison has still not been appointed to any office, with the Justice Ministry, which he had been tipped for, falling to Gloria Akuffo.
The Republic has recently found the missing link in the Addison story and can report that President Akufo-Addo has not given him any position yet because he intends to appoint him as a justice of the Supreme Court.
Outgoing Chief Justice, Theodora Georgina Wood’s impending retirement in June, which has led to the President’s nomination of his cousin, Sophia Akuffo, as the new Chief Justice, creates an opportune space on the bench of the Supreme Court.
Even though per the Constitution, the Supreme Court is supposed to be made up of the Chief Justice as head and not less than nine judges, if Akufo-Addo had rushed to appoint Addison onto it while no new retirements have happened it would have raised eyebrows. Former President Mahama had, as recently as June 2015, appointed two judges of the Appeal Court, namely justices Gabriel Pwamang and Yaw Apau, to the Supreme Court.
The Republic has also found out that previous experience on the Bench is not a straitjacket precondition for qualification to be appointed on to the Supreme Court, making it possible for the President to appoint Mr. Addison, who was admitted to practice in Ghana as Barrister-at-Law and solicitor of the Supreme Court in 1984, as a judge of the apex court.
According to information, President Akufo-Addo and the ruling NPP, had carefully planned Philip Addison’s sudden launch onto the Supreme Court, using the recent Addison committee tasked to investigate the AMERI deal as A stepping stone.
However, the 61-year old Senior Partner of Afro-Solicitors law firm has made a mess of the profile enhancing opportunity that was supposed to come with the Addison Committee setup, embroiling himself and the 16 others on the committee in the still trending conflict of interest scandal.
Even though the Addison Committee has attempted to create a juristic sense of propriety about itself by recommending a renegotiation of the AMERI deal on the grounds that the contract cost is bloated by some $150million, the fact that the committee members had traveled to Dubai on the sponsorship of the same AMERI has left the committee tottering under public suspicion.
Worse still, as part of the scandal, it has come to light that the Addison Committee members who had traveled on a first class plane ticket to Dubai, hosted in a 5-star hotel and given per diems by AMERI had traveled along with the brother of the Energy Minister, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko.
Boakye Agyarko, the Energy Minister, had set up the Addison Committee.
Even so, government sources say the President’s pencil of Addison for the Supreme Court job is not canceled yet and that, soon, he will be announced as a jurist nominee for the apex Court.
If Mr. Addison is announced by the President as such, his approval by Parliament, which will only be a formality, will serve to nourish the Akufo-Addo regime’s reputation as a government of family and friends. Philip Addison’s brother is Dr. Ernest Yedu Addison, recently appointed Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
To make way for Ernest Addison’s appointment as BoG Governor, the Akufo-Addo regime had forced Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku to resign as Governor.
Dr. Issahaku had been in office for less than a year as Governor after he assumed office in April 2016, following the early retirement of Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah.