A senior partner at Reindorf Chambers, Fui Tsikata has explained why he rejected his nomination for the national award.
According to the lawyer, he did not understand the criteria for selecting the awardees.
He explained that there are other persons who contributed greatly to winning the maritime dispute between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire in 2017, which success formed the basis for the honour and hence should have been recognised as well.
“It is impossible to understand the criteria which excluded the names of Nana Asafu-Adjaye, Thomas Manu, Ayaa Armah, Kojo Agbenor-Efunam, Nana Appia Kyei and Nii Adzei Akpor.
“Even Professor Martin Tsamenyi is left out. It was his work that led to the creation of the Maritime Boundary Secretariat, which coordinated the litigation. He was an influential member of the team till he fell ill.
“Nor is it clear why Kwame Mfodwo, the Co-coordinator of the Maritime Boundary Secretariat and Nana Poku, the indefatigable cartographer of the team, were only deserving of “Certificates”, in an evidently belated attempt to offer them some acknowledgement,” he wrote in a press release dated 15th March, 2023.
Mr Tsikata said he prefers to celebrate the collective effort of the team and the leadership that promoted collaboration and stifled disruptive elements, to receive the award.
“The unforgettable images of Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong handing over to Gloria Akuffo symbolise that and remain indelible,” he stressed.
National Honours are the highest awards that a citizen can receive for dedicated service to a country.
However, upon being nominated, Mr Fui Tsikata declined the offer. Subsequently, there were media reports that he did so to tarnish the awards.
But Mr Tsikata debunked the assertion, “I understand that my decision to decline the offer of a national award is being interpreted as motivated by partisan political considerations.
“In my letter of 2 November 2022 to the Solicitor-General, in response to hers informing me of the offer of an award, I explained that “I have long and deeply held convictions about not accepting recognition in the form of national honours.” Those who know me will confirm these convictions as well as my inclination to avoid grand public gestures and the fuss around them,” he stated.
Mr Tsikata added that “If anything tarnishes the awards, it is not my rejection of the offer to me, but rather the unfortunate selectivity in deciding those involved in the maritime boundary litigation to whom awards would be given.”
The former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong also rejected the honour.
On Tuesday, March 14, 2023, President Akufo-Addo conferred national honours on Some Ghanaians who have excelled in various fields of national endeavour over the years.
They were presented with awards for their meritorious services, hard work, sacrifices and contribution to national development.
Members of the Ghanaian legal team that represented the country during the adjudication of the maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire were also nominated for awards.
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