Kpegah Packs Bag And Baggage

After refusing to quit his government office six months after resigning from the Supreme Court, Justice Francis Worlanyo Kpegah, has finally thrown in the towel. He has now packed bag and baggage and left the Supreme Court building where his office is located. Information picked up by this reporter indicates that Justice Kpegah handed over the keys to his office to the Judicial Secretary on Monday June 22, this year, three days after The Chronicle had exposed that he was still occupying his office, though he had handed over his resignation letter to then President Kufuor, six months ago. The Director of Communications for the Judicial Service, Mr. Kwapong, confirmed the story. According to him, Kpegah handed over keys to his office and bid farewell to all the staff on Monday June 22. Justice Kpegah tendered in his resignation on December 4th 2008, which was accepted the following day by the office of the President, but he failed to vacate his office. In a suit he filed at the court, against the Kufuor government, a few days before he left office, he accused it of imposing a culture of fear in the people of Ghana through its cronies in the electronic and print media, especially the 'Coffee Shop Mafia”. When The Chronicle contacted the judicial secretary, Alex B. Opoku Acheampong about two weeks ago to ascertain why the former judge was still using his office and official secretary, he said Kpegah was probably relying on portions of the constitution. Justice Kpegah might be relying on article 145 (4) of the Constitution which states “Notwithstanding that he has attained the age at which he is required by this article to vacate his office, a person holding office as a Justice of a Superior Court or Chairman of a Regional Tribunal may continue in office for a period not exceeding six months after attaining that age, as may be necessary to enable him to deliver judgment or do any other thing in relation to proceedings that were commenced before him, previous to his attaining that age” “We think his presence here might be due to this provision, and since he resigned he has not been involved in any court room work, but he may be writing his judgments,” he reiterated. He continued that judges who would want to take advantage of the six months stay after their retirement, would have to write to the Chief Justice for permission, but in the case of Kpegah, as far as the records show, he has not formally applied. When asked whether Justice Kpegah qualifies under the above provision to extend his stay in office, he said “This involves people who have retired, but in his case he resigned with immediate effect.” “Well, that is a question very difficult to answer, but the provision is there, however, I haven’t seen the application, the records do not show that he has formally applied, may be that is what he is relying on,” he indicated. When asked why he has not questioned the grounds for his stay in office, he said “he has to write to the Chief Justice not me, the Chief Justice would have informed me if he had the letter.”