It’s happy retirement and happy birthday to Madam Georgina Wood today!
Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood retires as the Chief Justice of Ghana today being Thursday, 8th June, 2017. The outgoing Chief Justice, had earlier marked her retirement with a solemn but colourful thanksgiving service held at the 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 turns 70 today. And the fact that her retirement day coincides with her birthday adds much more colour 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!
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 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 presidents John Evans Atta-Mills (late), in January 2009, John Dramani Mahama on 24 July, 2012 and 7 January, 2013 respectively; 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, when she was appointment 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, for meritorious public service 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.
…And the man behind this powerful woman? 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
After her official retirement today [June 8, 2017], Former Chief Justice Wood 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.