Fred Kwasi Apaloo

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Frederick Kwasi Apaloo
Chief Justice of Kenya
In office
March 1993 – 1995
Appointed by Daniel arap Moi
Preceded by Alan Hancox
Succeeded by Abdul Majid Cockar
6th Chief Justice of Ghana
(19th including Gold Coast)
In office
Appointed by General Acheampong
Preceded by Samuel Azu Crabbe
Succeeded by E. N. P. Sowah
Supreme Court Judge
In office
Appointed by Kofi Abrefa Busia
Personal details
Born (1921-01-09)9 January 1921
Woe, Gold Coast
Died 2 April 2000(2000-04-02) (aged 79)
Spouse(s) Georgina Kumasenu

Frederick Kwasi Apaloo (9 January 1921 – 2 April 2000) was a Ghanaian barrister who served as Chief Justice of Ghana and later Kenya.

Early life[edit]

Apaloo was born at Woe, a village near Keta in the Volta Region of Ghana, then the Gold Coast. He lost his father when he was 7 years old so an uncle who was a Kadjebi merchant cared for him through school.[1] His secondary education was at Accra Academy in Accra which he completed in 1942.[2] He subsequently read law at the University College, Hull[1]

Judicial career[edit]

Apaloo was called to the English bar in 1950 by the Middle Temple. He later returned to practise law in Ghana. He defended those involved in the Anloga riots following widespread protests against the imposition of taxes by the British colonial administration. After Ghana attained its independence from British colonial rule, he was appointed a High Court Judge in 1960. In 1964, he presided over the treason trials of five persons including three close associates of President Kwame Nkrumah. They were Tawia Adamafio, information minister, Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, foreign minister and Hugh Horatio Cofie Crabbe, secretary of the ruling Convention People's Party.[3] One of the other judges was Edward Akufo-Addo who also later became Chief Justice in 1966 and ceremonial President of Ghana in 1970. The acquittal led to the then president, Nkrumah trying to purge the judiciary. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 1966 and to the Supreme Court of Ghana in 1971.[1]

Chief Justice of Ghana[edit]

He was appointed Ghana's Chief Justice in 1977. He was the sixth person to hold this position since Ghana became an independent nation.[4] This was during the era of the military Supreme Military Council of Ghana. On resumption of democratic rule under Hilla Limann in September 1979, the People's National Party government attempted to replace him as incumbent Chief Justice by insisting he be vetted for the office he already occupied. A Ghanaian citizen, Amoako Tuffuor, took the issue to the Supreme Court and the presiding judge, Justice E. N. P. Sowah, who interestingly succeeded him on his (Apaloo's) retirement, ruled that Apaloo became Chief Justice in the Third Republic as soon as the 1979 Ghanaian constitution came into force.[5] He served through the third republic of Ghana and continued after the overthrow of the Limann government on 31 December 1981. Due to his independence, the new military government, the Provisional National Defence Council led by Jerry Rawlings also tried to remove him as Nkrumah had tried before but failed in 1983. He retired at the age of 65 years in 1986.[1]

Chief Justice of Kenya[edit]

Kenya had a vacancy for Chief Justice in 1993 with no obvious candidate to fill it so he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Kenya in March 1993.[6][7] He was noted to be against the death penalty while he was in Kenya.[8] He remained Chief Justice until 1995[1] when he was succeeded by Abdul Majid Cockar.[9]

Other positions[edit]

Apaloo was elected as a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1986. He also served on the World Bank Administrative Tribunal from 1990 till 1995.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Apaloo married Georgina Kumasenu in 1953. They had two sons and three daughters.[1]



Apaloo's hobbies included dancing, boating and golf and tennis.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Fred Apaloo". Obituaries. The Daily Telegraph. 9 June 2000. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  2. ^ Nikoi Kotey. "Accra Aca Is Calling". Accra Academy alumni. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  3. ^ "Ghana: Double & Deadly Jeopardy". Time (magazine). 19 February 1965. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  4. ^ "List of Chief Justices". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Retrieved 2007-03-28. [dead link]
  5. ^ Kwaku S. Asare (31 December 2002). "December 31, The Day Democracy was Aborted". Feature Article. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  6. ^ "Human Rights Developments". Overview of Human Rights Developments. Human Rights Watch. 1994. Retrieved 2007-03-28. More positively, the much-vilified British expatriate chief justice, Alan Hancox, was replaced in March by Ghanaian judge Fred Apaloo, who indicated that he would be more supportive of an independent judiciary. 
  7. ^ "Kenya Since the Elections". WRITENET Reports. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-28. In April 1993, Chief Justice Hancox, a British contract judge whose handling of political cases had been criticized by human rights lawyers, was replaced by a Ghanaian, Justice Fred Apaloo. 
  8. ^ Robert Oduol. "Capital Punishment: Texas to Kenya". GENERATOR 21 Magazine. Retrieved 2007-03-28. However, while many Kenyan politicians appear keen to retain capital punishment the majority of the judicial officers who actually pass the sentences are not. A few years ago, Kenya's Chief Justice at the time, Mr Justice Fred Kwasi Apaloo expressed misgivings about the death penalty and urged lawmakers to consider repealing it. 
  9. ^ "ABDUL MAJID COCKAR". Indian Ocean Newsletter No. 653 & 1 July 1995. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Samuel Azu Crabbe
Chief Justice of Ghana
Succeeded by
E. N. P. Sowah
Preceded by
Alan Hancox
Chief Justice of Kenya
Succeeded by
Abdul Majid Cockar