Tsatsu Tsikata

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Tsatsu Tsikata
Born (1950-10-01) 1 October 1950 (age 68)
Keta, Ghana
Residence Accra
Nationality Ghanaian
Citizenship Ghanaian
Education University of Ghana
Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Occupation Academic, lawyer
Spouse(s) Esther Cobbah
Children 3
Parent(s) Godwin Kwaku-Sru Tsikata
Relatives Fui Tsikata (brother),Doe Tsikata (sister),Dotse Tsikata(brother), Kojo Tsikata (uncle)

Tsatsu Tsikata (born 1 October 1950) is a Ghanaian academic and lawyer. He is also a former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

Early life and education[edit]

Tsikata was born in Keta in the south of the Volta Region of Ghana.[1] He was however brought up in Adabraka, a suburb of Accra, the capital of Ghana. He started school at an early age because he wanted to follow his older brother Fui to school. He first attended Additrom Preparatory School and then Mrs Sam’s Preparatory School, a school also attended by Jerry Rawlings. He was again moved to Accra Newtown Experimental School where he was jumped from Year 2 to Year 3, catching up with his older brother Fui.[2] He won a United Africa Company (UAC) scholarship in 1960 to start his secondary education at the age of nine at the Mfantsipim School where his father and his elder brother, Fui Sokpoli Tsikata also attended.[2][3] On completion of his five-year course, he gained admission into the University of Ghana, Legon, at the age of 16, where he obtained an LL.B First Class degree at the age of 18 years. Only one other 18-year-old had completed a degree programme at that time. His lecturers included Professor Ofosu Amaah and Dr. Obed Asamoah, a former foreign minister and Attorney General of Ghana.[2] He then won a post-graduate scholarship from the University of Ghana to Oxford University where he again obtained first class honours in Bachelor of Civil Law which is equivalent to a master's degree at other British universities.

Academic career[edit]

Tsikata held a Junior Research Fellowship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he also served as a tutor.[4] On his return to Ghana in 1974, he was appointed a lecturer at the law faculty of the University of Ghana. Some of his students included Kwamena Ahwoi, Alban Bagbin, former majority leader in the Parliament of Ghana and Freddie Blay, former first deputy speaker in the Parliament of Ghana.[2]


Tsikata has served as counsel to a number of notable personalities over the years. These include Captain Kojo Tsikata, his cousin and Kofi Awoonor. During the era of the National Redemption Council/Supreme Military Council military regimes of Acheampong, he defended Samuel Okudjeto and William Ofori Atta who stood trial for political reasons. After the May 15 Uprising in 1979, he was counsel for Jerry Rawlings during the treason trial that came to an abrupt end when the SMC military government led by Fred Akuffo was overthrown on 4 June 1979.[4] He was the lead Counsel for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in an electoral petition in Ghana.

Ghana National Petroleum Company[edit]

Tsikata was appointed the Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) from October 1988 to December 2000 by the then ruling NDC led by Jerry Rawlings.

Trial, jail and pardon[edit]

Tsikata was tried for causing financial loss of GH¢230,000 to the state after a trial through the Accra Fast Track Tribunal, one of many set up by the Kufuor government to try such cases. The trial lasted for six years. He was pronounced guilty on 18 June 2008 by Mrs. Justice Hernrietta Abban.[5] The length of the trial is reputed to be the longest ever involving a former government official in the history of the country. Those loyal to President Kufuor's New Patriotic Party government hailed this as a triumph for the judicial system while Tsikata's sympathisers and National Democratic Congress supporters saw the trial as politically motivated.[6] This led to the formation of the "Free Tsatsu Movement".[7] He was granted an unconditional pardon by the then President John Kufuor on his last day of office after his party, the New Patriotic Party lost the Ghanaian presidential election, 2008. At the time, he was on admission at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital under prison guard following a severe bout of asthma.[8] Tsatsu Tsikata rejected the presidential pardon and announced at a forum later that he felt the pardon was not in good faith and that he would fight through the court system to clear his name.[9][10] He was the lead counsel for the NDC during the first ever electoral petition trial filed by the opposition New Patriotic Party challenging the results of the 2012 elections.[11] The NDC filed a joinder to be the third respondent of this case.[12]


Tsikata is one of seven siblings.[13] His father was Godwin Kwaku-Sru Tsikata, a retired Textiles Sales Manager with the United Africa Corporation (UAC). He is married to Esther Cobbah[14] and they have three children.

Award-winning Ghanaian musician, M.anifest, is one of his children[15]

Personal and social life[edit]

Tsikata is Christian and an elder of the Asbury Dunwell Church in Accra.[4] He is a known asthmatic and this appears to have limited his extracurricular activities and school attendance as a child. After he was jailed in 2008, he had an acute asthmatic attack that took him from the Nsawam prisons to intensive care.


Tsikata has been a keen cricketer in the past.


  1. ^ "PROFILE:The UNICORN- A Brilliant Performance". Free Tsatsu Tsikata Now Campaign. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009. If the record of scholarship holders is up to date you will notice that Tsatsu was born on first October 1950 at Keta and will therefore be 19 on 1st October 1969, and not 20 as incorrectly published in the Graphic.
  2. ^ a b c d Augustina Tawiah. "PROFILE:From The Junior Graphic". Junior Graphic. Free Tsatsu Tsikata Now Campaign. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  3. ^ Unknown. "Free Tsatsu Tsikata Campaign" (PDF). Free Tsatsu Tsikata Campaign. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "PROFILE:Biography". Free Tsatsu Tsikata Campaign. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Tsikata Gets 5 Years!". GhanaWeb. 18 June 2008. Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  6. ^ "Political Café - The Trial and Conviction of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata: Any Implications for Political Polarisation and the Electioneering Campaign for December 2008?". Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Free Tsatsu Tsikata Now". Free Tsatsu Movement. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  8. ^ "Tsatsu Tsikata Freed!". MyJoyOnline. 6 January 2009. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  9. ^ "The pardon was not in good faith - Tsikata". GhanaWeb. 23 January 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  10. ^ "File submissions on Tsatsu's Presidential Pardon". GhanaWeb. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  12. ^ www.ghanaweb.com › News › 2013-01-23
  13. ^ "Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata". Africa Confidential. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  14. ^ Kwasi Adu (29 November 2009). "Is The President Listening?". PeaceFm Online. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  15. ^ M.anifest

See also[edit]

External links[edit]