Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood, also known as Georgina Wood, retired as the Chief Justice of Ghana on Thursday, 8th June 2017. The outgoing Chief Justice had earlier marked her retirement with a solemn but colorful thanksgiving service held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Accra, on Sunday, 4th June 2017.
The service was graced by prominent members of the judiciary and legislature such as the incoming Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo; Justice of the Supreme Court, Jones Dotse; the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Michael Ocquaye; the Minority Leader, Haruna Idrissu, among others. Also in attendance were clergymen, politicians, family, friends, and members of the general public.
Born on the 8th of June, 1947, Justice Wood turned 70 in June 2017. And, the fact that her retirement day coincides with her birthday adds much more color to the day’s celebrations.
It is in the spirit of the celebrations that we bring to you these very interesting facts about the retiring CJ Wood. Here we go!
Georgina Wood Biography
Being born into a family that highly valued education, the Ghanaian-born had her basic education at Bishop’s Girls and Methodist Schools, Dodowa. Her secondary education was at Wesley Girls’ High School, Cape Coast, which she completed in 1966. She studied law at the University of Ghana where she obtained her degree in law after which she went to Ghana Law School before she was called to bar.
In addition to her law courses, Georgina Wood also had her Post-Graduate Officers Training Course at the Ghana Police College after which she was called to work as a deputy superintendent and public prosecutor for three years. She then joined the Judicial Service as a District Magistrate Grade II in 1974.
Interesting Facts About Chief Justice Georgina Wood
1. Georgina Wood was Ghana’s First Female Chief Justice
Mrs. Wood was the first woman who rose to the office of a Chief Justice in Ghana’s judicial history. Chief Justice Wood rose through the ranks after serving as a District Magistrate of Circuit and High Courts in the Judicial Service. She was subsequently appointed a presiding judge of the Court of Appeal in 1991, and then as a Supreme Court Judge on 12th November 2002.
Five years after her Supreme Court appointment, Madam Wood was appointed the Chief Justice by ex-president Kufuor in May 2007. She officially assumed duties as the 12th Chief Justice of Ghana, and the 24th Chief Justice of the Gold Coast, on the 15th of June 2007.
Georgina Wood will be succeeded by Sophia Akuffo, the second female to serve as Ghana’s Chief Justice.
2. Mrs. Wood was the Longest Serving CJ
Aside from being the first female Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood also stands as the longest-serving Chief Justice in the history of Ghana’s Judiciary so far.
She started off her career in the judicial service in the year 1974 – 43 long years ago! Of these 43 years, she served as the Chief Justice for the last 10 years of her judicial career (2007-2017).
Her tenure as the Chief Justice of the Republic saw to her swearing-in of several of the country’s presidents including late John Evans Atta-Mills in January 2009, John Dramani Mahama on 24 July 2012 and Nana Akufo-Addo in January 2017.
3. She was Once The Most Powerful Woman in Ghana
Theodora Wood’s appointment as the Chief Justice in 2007, made her the most powerful woman in Ghana’s political history at that time. She was however succeeded by Justice Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo, who was appointed the first female Speaker of the 5th Parliament of Ghana in January 2009.
In addition to becoming the most powerful woman in 2007, Mrs. Wood received Ghana’s highest National Award, the Order of the Star of Ghana that same year. She has also received an LLD (Honoris Causa), and an award from the Faculty of Law, for outstanding Judicial Career – all from the University of Ghana.
Georgina is married to Edwin Wood, a retired banker.
4. Justice Wood Worked with The GPS
Before joining the Judicial Service in 1974, Georgina Wood worked with the Ghana Police Service as a deputy superintendent and public prosecutor. She maintained the position for three years.
5. She Will Join The Council of State
Following her official retirement today [June 8, 2017], the former Chief Justice will become a member of the Council of State, in accordance with Article 89(2)(a)(i) of the Constitution which provides that the advisory council to the President must include a former Chief Justice.
Behind her official life as Ghana’s Chief Justice, Georgina Wood is a lover of music. She is a choir leader at the Ringway Gospel Centre Assemblies of God Church, Accra.