Tsatsu Tsikata

Tsatsu Tsikata (born 1 October 1950) is a Ghanaian academic and lawyer. He is also a former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. He is a notable affiliate and legal counsel to the National Democratic Congress and regarded as one of the leading member of the political party.[1][2]

Tsatsu Tsikata
Born (1950-10-01) 1 October 1950 (age 71)
EducationUniversity of Ghana
Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Spouse(s)Esther Cobbah
Parent(s)Godwin Kwaku-Sru Tsikata
RelativesKojo Tsikata (uncle)

Early life and educationEdit

Tsikata was born in Keta in the south of the Volta Region of Ghana.[3] He was however brought up in Adabraka, a suburb of Accra, the capital of Ghana. 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.[4] 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][5] On completion of his five-year course, he gained admission into the University of Ghana, Legon, at the age of 14, 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. His lecturers included Professor Ofosu Amaah and Dr. Obed Asamoah, a former foreign minister and Attorney General of Ghana.[4] He 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.



Tsikata held a Junior Research Fellowship at Oxford University where he also served as a tutor.[6] 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, almost all the justices of the current Supreme Court of Ghana including Justice Victor Mawulom Dotse, the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, Justice Yaw Appau[4]


Tsikata has served as counsel to a number of notable personalities over the years. These include Captain Kojo Tsikata, his cousin, Kofi Awoonor and President Jerry Rawlings in 1979. During the era of the National Redemption Council/Supreme Military Council military regimes of Acheampong, he defended Samuel Okudjeto and William Ofori Atta who stood trial for political reasons. 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.[6] 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.[7] The NDC filed a joinder to be the third respondent of this case.[8] He was the lead counsel for John Mahama in the 2020 election petition against the electoral commission and the president.[9]

Ghana National Petroleum CorporationEdit

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.

Trial, jail and pardonEdit

Tsikata was tried for causing financial loss of GH¢230,000 to the state whilst CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Company after a trial through the Accra Fast Track Tribunal, one of many set up by the Kufuor government to try such cases. The trial started in 2002 and lasted for six years. He was pronounced guilty on 18 June 2008 by Mrs. Justice Hernrietta Abban.[10] The length of the trial is reputed to be the longest ever involving a former government official in the history of the country. Those loyal to President Kufuor's New Patriotic Party government hailed this as a triumph for the judicial system while Tsikata's sympathizers and National Democratic Congress supporters saw the trial as politically motivated.[11] This led to the formation of the "Free Tsatsu Movement".[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.[14][15]

Bail, appeal and exonerationEdit

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.[16][17][18] 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.[19][16][20][21]

Personal and social lifeEdit

Tsikata is Christian and an elder of the Asbury Dunwell Church in Accra.[6] 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. Tsikata has been a keen cricketer in the past.


Tsikata is one of seven siblings.[1] His father was Godwin Kwaku-Sru Tsikata, a retired Textiles Sales Manager with the United Africa Corporation (UAC). He is married to Esther Cobbah[22][23] and they have three children. Award-winning Ghanaian musician, M.anifest, is one of his children[24][2][25][26] His older brother Fui Tsikata is also a well known lawyer in Ghana as is his sister Doe Tsikata.[27] He also has another brother Dotse Tsikata.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata". Africa Confidential. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b "I wish I had creative skills to do music like my son -Tsatsu Tsikata". The Chronicle Online. 11 August 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  3. ^ "PROFILE:The UNICORN- A Brilliant Performance". Free Tsatsu Tsikata Now Campaign. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009. If the record of scholarship holders is up to date you will notice that Tsatsu was born on first October 1950 at Keta and will therefore be 19 on 1st October 1969, and not 20 as incorrectly published in the Graphic.
  4. ^ a b c d Augustina Tawiah. "PROFILE:From The Junior Graphic". Junior Graphic. Free Tsatsu Tsikata Now Campaign. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  5. ^ Unknown. "Free Tsatsu Tsikata Campaign" (PDF). Free Tsatsu Tsikata Campaign. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b c "PROFILE:Biography". Free Tsatsu Tsikata Campaign. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ www.ghanaweb.com › News › 2013-01-23[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Election Petition: EC 'running away' from cross-examination - Tsikata alleges - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Tsikata Gets 5 Years!". GhanaWeb. 18 June 2008. Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Political Café - The Trial and Conviction of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata: Any Implications for Political Polarisation and the Electioneering Campaign for December 2008?". Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  12. ^ "Free Tsatsu Tsikata Now". Free Tsatsu Movement. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  13. ^ "Tsatsu Tsikata Freed!". MyJoyOnline. 6 January 2009. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  14. ^ "The pardon was not in good faith - Tsikata". GhanaWeb. 23 January 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  15. ^ "File submissions on Tsatsu's Presidential Pardon". GhanaWeb. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  16. ^ a b "Tsikata: I Never Relied On Kufuor Pardon, I Was Granted Bail". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Tsatsu granted bail - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Tsatsu Gets Bail". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Tsatsu is innocent; Conviction & 5-year jail term quashed". www.ghanaweb.com. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Tsatsu Tsikata 'not guilty' of causing financial loss – Court of Appeal". Citi 97.3 FM - Relevant Radio. Always. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  21. ^ AfricaNews (2 December 2016). "Ghana court rules that top politician was unjustly jailed in 2008". Africanews. Retrieved 18 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Kwasi Adu (29 November 2009). "Is The President Listening?". PeaceFm Online. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  23. ^ "IPRA | Esther COBBAH". www.ipra.org. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  24. ^ M.anifest
  25. ^ "I'm proud of M.anifest - Tsatsu Tsikata lauds son". www.ghanaweb.com. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  26. ^ CitiTube, CitiTv (17 December 2015). "Tsatsu Tsikata opens up about his son M.anifest". Retrieved 18 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "People | DLA Piper Africa, Ghana | Reindorf Chambers". DLA Piper Africa. DLA Piper. Retrieved 16 December 2021.

External linksEdit