Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong wrote formally to reject National Honours award presented to to awardees by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on March 14, 2023.
According to a presidential staffer, Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe, the former AG who was to be awarded for her role in helping Ghana win a maritime dispute with Ivory Coast in 2017 turned down the offer.
Aside Marietta Brew, the Jubilee House employee also reported that lawyer Fui Tsikata, who was also part of the specific legal team, also turned down the award, describing both rejections as “sad!”
Tagoe, did not state the exact reason the former AG gave for her decision in his Facebook post of March 14.
The post read: “Lawyer Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong and Lawyer Fui Tsikata wrote to decline the National Honours awards as Members of Ghana’s legal team at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Sad!
About Fui Tsikata
The Africa Arbitration Association, wrote of Fui: “Mr Fui Tsikata is senior partner at Reindorf Chambers, the Ghana member firm of the DLA Piper Africa Group of law firms.
He has been a member of the Ghana Bar since January 1975.
“He was one of Ghana’s advocates in the proceedings at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) relating to the maritime boundary between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire conducted between December 2014 and September 2017.
Addressing awardees and attendees at the ceremony to confer national awards on deserving persons, President Akufo-Addo noted that the awards are essentially to recognize “our foreign friends and partners who aided us [Ghana] in that enterprise [the adjudication of the ITLOS case].
“To the men and women who made sure that the maritime boundary dispute with our immediate, western neighbour, the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, ended favourably for the Republic of Ghana, thereby, ensuring that our western maritime resources, including its oil and gas potential, rightfully remained in our possession, and to certain outstanding citizens whose work has brought renown and merit to our nation’s development” the President said.
“Our victory in the maritime boundary dispute could not have been achieved through the actions of one person, one political party or one government.
“It was a collective effort, and it is for this reason that the important roles played by successive governments and groups of individuals, cannot not be overlooked, discounted or understated.
“The judgment of the Tribunal has brought finality to a maritime boundary dispute that had been extant for over five decades” he added.
Benefits of ITLOS victory
Laying emphasis on the overall benefit that the settlement of the maritime dispute has brought Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said “although the precise economic impact has yet to be conclusively established, what has emerged quite clearly is that our western maritime boundary remains intact. Indeed, many were those who feared that the outcome of the judgement could strain the friendship that exists between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire”.
“On the contrary, thanks largely to the spirit of understanding and accommodation exhibited by that great African statesman, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, it has rather strengthened the bonds of co-operation.
Indeed, we now have a Strategic Partnership Agreement, Accord de Partenariat Stratégique, with Cote d’Ivoire, negotiated by President Ouattara and I” the President stated.
Apart from the two main categories of awardees, that is the COVID-19 and ITLOS awardees, there was a third category of awardees of a few individuals whose work according to President Akufo-Addo, “deserve the plaudits of the nation”.
The individuals were; the late great philosopher, Prof. Johnson Kwame Wiredu, by common consent one of the outstanding philosophers of global repute of the modern age.
He was given a befitting posthumous award, Order of the Volta – Companion. The rest are Ms Margaret Sophia Darkwah, the first female Commissioner of Police, Professor Akwasi Osei, former Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority and Dr Veronica Agartha Martinson, former Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute, Ghana.
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