With the term of the present Speaker of Parliament ending on January 6, 2021, the question of who becomes the next Speaker in Parliament.
Apart from Justice Daniel Francis Annan who served two terms, all others served for one term. If Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye does not continue as the Speaker, then the successor can be narrowed down to a few people among them Nii Ayikoi Otoo.
Nii Ayikoi Otoo stands tall among equally qualified personalities. He served as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under President Kufuor. During the period, he led Ghana’s Delegations to International Arbitrations which were all successful.
After serving as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, he was appointed once again by President Kufuor to serve as Board Chair of The State Insurance Corporation.
He set up his own Chambers known as Otoo & Associates – Leo Chambers in 2007 and became master thereof.
During the campaign of 2016, he was appointed Chairman of the Governance Sub-Committee of the Campaign Team and later appointed Chairman of the Executive Assets Committee of the Transitional Team.
In 2017 President Akufo-Addo appointed him as Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada. Ayikoi Otoo was then Master and Head of Chambers of his law firm known as Otoo & Associates – Leo Chambers.
He has been an active member of the Ghana Bar Association and has held the office of Greater-Accra Regional President and National Secretary of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) for three consecutive terms, unopposed from 1998-2001.
As a legal practitioner in Ghana, he has handled many high-profile cases, some of which have been reported in the Ghana Law Reports (GLR), as well as the Supreme Court Ghana Law Reports (SCGLR) and other Monthly Law Reports published in Ghana.
Some of these high-profile cases include the Supreme Court Contempt Case against the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, the then General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the pendency of the famous 2012 Election Petition.
The mastery and diplomatic manner in which Nii Ayikoi Otoo handled the case before the Judges ensured that their Lordships’ injured feelings were assuaged, thereby freeing Sir John from a custodial sentence.
The next high-profile case he argued was the disqualification of Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, a Presidential Candidate in the run-up to the 2016 General Elections in Ghana. Nii Ayikoi Otoo as counsel for Dr Nduom successfully overturned the Electoral Commission’s decision at the High Court.
Though the Electoral Commission took the matter to the Supreme Court the decision was affirmed. The case won Nii Ayikoi Otoo international admiration and congratulatory messages poured in especially from within the Commonwealth.
Nii Ayikoi Otoo has been a political and social commentator who appeared on many television and radio discussion programmes in Ghana. He has also published Articles in two popular Ghanaian Newspapers.
In addition, he has published learned Articles in “Your Health Guide Magazine” on Medico-Legal Topics in Ghana and in the “Banking and Finance Law Journal” of Ghana.
Nii Ayikoi Otoo served as a guest on a Law programme called “Obonu lawyer” on Obonu FM dedicated to Ga Dangme language listeners for four (4) years, explaining the law without receiving any honorarium.
He served with distinction and great admiration as Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada and the many citations and testimonials written about him by the Diaspora Community attest to his diplomatic skills and the fact that he was held in very high esteem by the community.
With a hung Parliament and the unfolding political contest for leadership of the next Parliament, there will be the need for mediation and negotiations, and I can see Nii Ayikoi Otoo as the personality to hold the scales evenly balanced to enable Parliament to work effectively and efficiently.
I believe Nii Ayikoi Otoo can be relied upon as a trusted and experienced legal, political, and affable luminary to bring both sides of the aisle together in the interest of Mother Ghana.
Osei Kyei Mensa Bonsu is the Suame MP and Parliamentary Affairs Minister.