Edward Akufo-Addo was a Ghanaian politician and lawyer. He was a member of the “Big Six” leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), which engaged in the fight for Ghana’s independence. He became the Chief Justice and later President of the Republic of Ghana.
In 1947, he became a founding member of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and was one of the “Big Six” (the others being Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Joseph Boakye Danquah, Kwame Nkrumah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey and William Ofori Atta) detained after disturbances in Accra in 1948. From 1949 to 1950, he was a member of the Gold Coast Legislative Council and the Coussey Constitutional Commission.
After independence (1962–64), 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 to 1970, he was appointed Chief Justice by the National Liberation Council (NLC) regime, as well as Chairman of the Constitutional Commission (which 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.