Renowned lawyer and member of Ghana’s legal team in the maritime dispute with La Cote d’Ivoire Fui Tsikata has broken his silence on why he declined the national award for his role in the 2017 resolution at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
Mr Tsikata and former Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong had declined the awards, which were conferred on the country’s legal team as part of the National Honours and Awards on Tuesday, March 14.
Many believe the position of these two lawyers may have been partisan.
But in a statement on Wednesday, Mr Tsikata said he had explained to the Solicitor-General in his response when he received information about the award that he doesn’t accept recognition for such efforts.
“Those who know me will confirm these convictions as well as my inclination to avoid grand public gestures and the fuss around them,” he stated.
Nonetheless, he pointed out that if anything had tarnished the image of the National Honours and Awards, it is the “unfortunate selectivity” on the part of government in choosing those who served on the maritime boundary litigation and not his decision.
“It is impossible to understand the criteria which excluded the names of Nana Asafu-Adjaye, Thomas Manu, Ayaa Armah, Kojo Agbenor-Efunam, Nana Appia Kyei and Nii Adzei Akpor.
“Even Professor Martin Tsamenyi is left out. It was his work that led to the creation of the Maritime Boundary Secretariat, which coordinated the litigation. He was an influential member of the team until he fell ill.”
He questioned why some like Coordinator of the Secretariat Kwame Mfodwo and cartographer Nana Poku were belatedly given ‘certificates’ in an “attempt to offer them some acknowledgement”.
“I prefer to celebrate the collective effort of the team and the leadership that promoted collaboration and stifled disruptive elements.”