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Edward Akufo-Addo (26 June 1906 – 17 July 1979) was a Ghanaian politician and lawyer. He was a member of the Big Six which engaged in the fight for Ghana's independence. He became the Chief Justice and later President of the Republic of Ghana.


Akufo-Addo was born at Dodowa. He had his basic education at Presbyterian Primary and Middle Schools at Dodowa. In 1929, he entered Achimota College, where he won a scholarship to St Peter's College, Oxford, where he studied Mathematics, Politics and Philosophy.

Pre-political career

Akufo-Addo was called to the Middle Temple Bar, London, UK in 1940 and returned to what was then the Gold Coast to start a private legal practice a year later.

Early political career

In 1947, he became a founding member of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and was one of the "Big Six" detained after disturbances in Accra. From 1949–1950, he was a member of the Gold Coast Legislative Council and the Coussey Constitutional Commission.

Post-independence career

After independence (1962–1964), Akufo-Addo was a Supreme Court Judge (One of three Judges who sat on Treason trial involving Tawia Adamafio, Ako Adjei and three others after the Kulungugu bomb attack on President Kwame Nkrumah and for doing so was dismissed with fellow judges for finding some of the accused not guilty.

From 1966–1970, he was appointed Chief Justice by the National Liberation Council (NLC) regime as well as Chairman of the Constitutional Commission (Commission that drafted the 1969 Second Republican Constitution). He was also head of the NLC Political Commission during this same time period.

From 31 August 1970 until his deposition by coup d'état on 13 January 1972, Akufo-Addo was President of Ghana in the Second Republic. Unlike Nkrumah, however, he was only the nominal chief executive. Due to Nkrumah's authoritarian excesses, the president's powers were almost entirely ceremonial. Real power rested with the prime minister, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia. On 17 July 1979, Akufo-Addo died of natural causes.


Akufo-Addo married Nana Yeboakua Ofori-Atta, the Abontendomhemma of Akyem Abuakwa and a daughter of Nana Sir Ofori Atta I, the Okyenhene of the Akyem Abuakwa chiefdom in the Eastern Region of Ghana. His son, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, came second in the Ghanaian presidential election of 2008.