Samuel Azu Crabbe
Samuel Azu Crabbe
|5th Chief Justice of Ghana|
1973 – 15 June 1977
|Appointed by||I.K. Acheampong / NRC|
|Preceded by||Edmund A.L. Bannerman|
|Succeeded by||Fred Kwasi Apaloo|
|Supreme Court Judge|
1961 – 15 June 1977
|Appointed by||Kwame Nkrumah|
18 November 1918|
|Died||15 September 2005
Supreme Court Judge
|Alma mater||University College of London|
Samuel Azu Crabbe (18 November 1918 – 15 September 2005) was a barrister, solicitor and jurist. He was the fifth Chief Justice of Ghana since it became an independent nation. He has also been a president of the National Olympic Committee of Ghana.
Early life and education
Samuel Azu Crabbe was born at James Town, a suburb of Accra, the capital of Ghana. He completed his secondary education at Accra Academy in 1939. He then proceeded to University College London, where he graduated with a law degree in 1946. He was called to the English Bar in 1948. While a student, he was quite active in sports and was the captain of a variety of junior and university football, hockey and cricket teams.
Azu Crabbe continued to be active in sports beyond his educational days. He was the President of the Ghana National Olympic Committee from 1968 to 1969. He was re-elected to the same position in 1979.
Samuel Azu Crabbe returned to Ghana after his training in the UK, where he practised as a barrister and solicitor from 1950 onwards. He became a High Court judge in 1959 and was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana in 1961. Azu Crabbe performed other roles in addition to his judicial responsibilities. He was once the head of the National Finance Board during the rule of the National Liberation Council, which had overthrown the Nkrumah government. In 1967, he was appointed the head of a commission of enquiry (the Azu Crabbe commission) to probe the assets of Kwame Nkrumah, the former president of Ghana. He was appointed Chief Justice by the National Redemption Council (NRC) in 1973. The NRC was the military government that had overthrown the Busia government on 13 January 1972. In 1977, he was awarded a gold medal by the International Association of Trial Lawyers in recognition of his achievements. The NRC had been reorganized into the Supreme Military Council (SMC) in 1975 with General Acheampong still as the Head of state of Ghana. The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) later passed a vote of no confidence in his administration. Under pressure from the GBA, the SMC published a new decree, the Judicial Service (Amendment) Decree, 1977 (SMCD 101), retiring him from the office of Chief Justice. This decree, which named him specifically, had been added to the statute books just for his dismissal.[a]
Special Investigation Board
During the era of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) of Jerry Rawlings, three judges and an army officer were abducted from their homes on 30 June 1982. Their bodies were found on 3 July 1982 at the Bundase Military Range, 50 kilometers from Accra. They had been murdered. All four had adjudicated on cases in which they had ordered the release of persons who had been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment, during the rule of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) which had also been led by Jerry Rawlings in 1979. Following intense pressure on the PNDC government, a Special Investigation Board (SIB) was formed to investigate the murders. Samuel Azu Crabbe was appointed the Chairman of the SIB. Their work led to the recommendation that 10 persons be prosecuted. Two of them, Joachim Amartey Quaye and Alolga Akata-Pore were members of the PNDC. A third, a retired army captain, Kojo Tsikata, was a PNDC Special Advisor and Head of National Security. Throughout the investigation, the Ghanaian Times, a state-owned newspaper, ran a persistent campaign to discredit the process as well as the SIB members. Azu Crabbe reportedly attempted to resign at a point during this period. Soon after the presentation of the Final Report, Azu Crabbe and Captain Tsikata engaged in exchanges in the public media over allegations of his (Crabbes's) supposed connection with the American CIA.
- ^ Judicial Service (Amendment) Decree, 1977 (SMCD 101)
"1. Notwithstanding any enactment to the contrary, Mr. Justice S. Azu Crabbe, Chief Justice of Ghana is hereby retired as Chief Justice and shall cease to be a member of the Judicial Service of Ghana with effect from 15th day of June, 1977." "2. The said Mr. Justice S. Azu Crabbe shall notwithstanding that he has ceased to be a member of the Judicial Service, after the said date be allowed to enjoy all leave he had earned prior to that date, with full emoluments and benefits and he shall be eligible to all retiring benefits for which he would have been eligible as if he had retired voluntarily from the Judicial Service as Chief Justice on the said date."
- "List of Chief Justices". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
- "Kufuor attends funeral of ex-Chief Justice". General News of Friday, 14 October 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- Nikoi Kotey. "Accra Aca Is Calling". Accra Academy alumni. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
- "Around the NOCs" (pdf). Olympic Review, June 1979, No 140. Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles. pp. 383, 384. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- "The Media and Human Rights in Ghana" (PDF). The National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 4 Chapter 3. Ghana government. October 2004. p. 133. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
- "Corruption: "Swiss Bank" Socialism". Failed Leadership. Free Africa Foundation. Archived from the original on 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- "13TH JANUARY, 1972 – 3RD JUNE, 1979:National Redemption Council (NRC)/Supreme Military Council (SMC) I & II - Dismissal Of Judges" (PDF). The National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 4 Chapter 2. Ghana government. October 2004. p. 92. Archived from the original (pdf) on 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- "Review of Petitions" (PDF). National Reconciliation Committee Report Volume 2 Part 2 Chapter 8. Ghana government. October 2004. pp. 141, 142. Archived from the original (pdf) on 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- "Review of Petitions" (PDF). The National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 4 Part 2 Chapter 8. Ghana government. October 2004. p. 142. Archived from the original (pdf) on 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- "31st December, 1982 – 6th January, 1993 Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC)-The Establishment Of The Special Investigation Board (SIB)" (PDF). The Legal Profession (including the Judiciary) in The National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 4 Chapter 2. Ghana government. October 2004. pp. 98–104. Archived from the original (pdf) on 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- "VEEP lauds late Justice Azu Crabbe". General News of Thursday, 6 October 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
- "Review of Petitions" (PDF). The National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 2 Part 1 Chapter 5. Ghana government. October 2004. p. 163. Archived from the original (pdf) on 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
Edmund A.L. Bannerman
|Chief Justice of Ghana
1973 – 1977
Fred Kwasi Apaloo