Akoto Ampaw was a prominent Ghanaian lawyer and human rights activist who passed away on October 20, 2023 – below is his biography.
Ampaw was known for his role as the lead counsel for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2020 presidential election petition at the Supreme Court of Ghana.
He was also a partner of the law firm Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co. and a vocal advocate for anti-corruption and LGBTQ+ rights.
In this article, we will explore Akoto Ampaw biography, including his early life, education, career, achievements, and personal life.
Lawyer Akoto Ampaw Biography
Early Life and Education
Akoto Ampaw was born on June 14, 1971, in Ghana, the son of a teacher and a nurse. He attended Achimota School, where he developed an interest in politics and social justice.
He was nicknamed “Che Che” after the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara.
After his early education, Akoto Ampaw proceeded to study law at the University of Ghana, where he graduated with an LL.B. degree in 1973.
He then enrolled at the Ghana School of Law, where he obtained his B.L. degree in 1993. He was called to the bar in the same year.
Career and Achievements
Akoto Ampaw started his career as a legal officer at the Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), a non-governmental organization that provides legal aid and advocacy for marginalized groups in Ghana.
He worked on cases involving human rights violations, environmental issues, land disputes, and constitutional matters.
Ampaw later joined the law firm Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co., which was founded by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other prominent lawyers.
He became a partner of the firm and specialized in commercial law, company law, industrial law, litigation, constitutional law, media law, labour law, investment law, among others.
He also served as a lecturer at the Ghana School of Law and the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana where he taught courses on constitutional law, human rights law, administrative law, and legal ethics.
Akoto Ampaw was widely regarded as one of the most respected and influential lawyers in Ghana.
He was involved in several landmark cases that shaped the legal landscape of the country.
Some of his Akoto Ampaw’s notable cases include:
The case of Tsatsu Tsikata v The Republic (2008), where he represented Tsatsu Tsikata, a former chief executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), who was convicted of causing financial loss to the state.
He successfully appealed against the conviction and secured his release from prison.
The case of The Republic v Kwabena Amaning & Anor (2011), where he represented Kwabena Amaning (also known as Tagor) and Alhaji Issah Abass (also known as ACP), who were accused of being involved in a drug trafficking syndicate.
He challenged the legality of their arrest and detention and secured their acquittal.
The case of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo & Ors v John Dramani Mahama & Ors (2013), where he was part of the legal team that challenged the results of the 2012 presidential election at the Supreme Court on behalf of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other petitioners.
He argued that there were widespread irregularities and malpractices that affected the outcome of the election. The Supreme Court dismissed the petition by a majority decision.
The case of Martin Amidu v Attorney-General & Anor (2017), where he represented Martin Amidu, a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, who sued the Attorney-General and Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a businessman who had received a judgment debt payment from the state.
He argued that the payment was unconstitutional and fraudulent and sought an order for its retrieval. The Supreme Court granted his request and ordered Woyome to refund the money to the state.
The case of John Dramani Mahama v Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo & Ors (2021), where he was the lead counsel for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2020 presidential election petition at the Supreme Court.
He defended the validity and credibility of the election results declared by the Electoral Commission in favour of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo against John Dramani Mahama’s claims of irregularities and errors. The Supreme Court dismissed the petition by a unanimous decision.
Akoto Ampaw was also a vocal advocate for anti-corruption rights in Ghana.
He was a founding member of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Transparency International, an international anti-corruption organization.
He also supported the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, an independent body that investigates and prosecutes corruption cases involving public officials.
Akoto Ampaw received several awards and recognition for his work as a lawyer and human rights activist.
He won two Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards for his contribution to press freedom and media law in 2004 and 2005.
He also received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice from the US Embassy in Ghana in 2010.
Akoto Ampaw was married to Akua Ampaw, a lawyer and a lecturer at the Ghana School of Law.
They had four children together.
He was a Christian and a member of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
Akoto Ampaw died on October 20, 2023, at the age of 52.
He passed away at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) after a short illness.
His death was met with shock and sadness by many Ghanaians, especially his colleagues, friends, and family.
He was described as a brilliant, humble, courageous, and principled lawyer who fought for justice and human dignity.
Akoto Ampaw biography tells a remarkable story of a Ghanaian lawyer and human rights activist who left a lasting legacy in the legal profession and society.
He was known for his role as the lead counsel for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2020 presidential election petition at the Supreme Court of Ghana and as a partner of the law firm Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co.
Akoto Ampaw was a vocal advocate for anti-corruption and was involved in several landmark cases that shaped the legal landscape of the country.
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