Biography of Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata
From an academician who rose to become an enviable lawyer during the birth of Ghana’s democracy to a political colossus during the PNDC/NDC era, Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata is an epitome of legal dexterity in Ghana.
Although he is affiliated to the NDC, the 70-year-old has been and continues to be part and parcel of the political history and architecture of Ghana, our democracy and legal education.
As the petition in the Supreme Court takes sharp, one name that has been on the lips of many Ghanaians and observers is Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata. Therefore, we want to take a deeper look into his life and how far he has come.
- Full Name: Tsatsu Tsikata
- Date of Birth: October 1, 1950
- Place of Birth: Keta, Volta Region
- Current Age: 70 years as of January 2021
- High School: Mfantsipim School
- Profession: Lawyer, Academician
- Marital Status: Married
Quick Facts On Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata
1, Tsatsu Tsikata was born on October 1, 1950, at Keta in the Volta Region of Ghana but was brought live and grow at Adaraka in Accra (Ghana’s Capital).
2, 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 former President of Ghana 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.
3, 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.
4, 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.
5, Tsatsu Tsikata 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.
6, Tsikata held a Junior Research Fellowship at Oxford University where he also served as a tutor. 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 current speaker of the 8th Parliament of Ghana as well as Freddie Blay, former first deputy speaker in the Parliament of Ghana.
7, Tsikata has served as counsel to several notable personalities over the years. These include Captain Kojo Tsikata, his cousin, Kofi Awoonor and President Jerry Rawlings, Samuel Okudjeto and William Ofori Atta.
8, 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.
9, He was the Lead Counsel for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in an electoral petition in Ghana. 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.
10, Tsikata was appointed the Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) from October 1988 to December 2000 by the then ruling NDC led by Jerry Rawlings. He was later 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.
11, The trial which lasted from 2002 to 2008 is reputed to be the longest ever involving a former government official in the history of the country. Tsatsu Tsikata was pronounced guilty on 18 June 2008 by Mrs Justice Hernrietta Abban.
12, 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.
13, 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. After rejecting the presidential pardon, by 13 January 2009, Tsikata was granted bail by Justice Edward Amoako Asante at an Accra Fast-Track high court pending appeal meaning he was no longer required to be in jail although he was still admitted at the hospital due to his asthmatic attack.
14, After 8 years of being charged with causing financial loss to the state, on 30 November 2016, he was declared innocent by an Appeals Court presided over by Justice Dennis Adjei and his 5-year jail term was quashed.
15, Tsatsu Tsikata is the legal counsel for John Mahama who is challenging the 2020 presidential election results as declared by the Electoral Commission on December 9, 2021, in the Supreme Court.
16, Tsikata is Christian and an elder of the Asbury Dunwell Church in Accra. 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.
17, Tsikata is one of seven siblings who include: Fui Tsikata (brother),Doe Tsikata (sister),Dotse Tsikata(brother). Kojo Tsikata is his uncle.
18, His father was Godwin Kwaku-Sru Tsikata, a retired Textiles Sales Manager with the United Africa Corporation (UAC). He is married to Esther Cobbah and they have three children. Award-winning Ghanaian musician and rapper, M.anifest, is one of his children.
19, Tsikata has been a keen cricketer in the past.