President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned a residential complex for Court of Appeal Judges in the Ashanti Region, as well as 120 courts and 150 bungalows across the country for the Judiciary.
At the Commissioning ceremony on Monday, President Akufo-Addo said during his first term in office, the government took note of the inadequate numbers of courts in various parts of the country, which made citizens travel long distances to gain access to courts.
He said, for instance, there was no Court between Adjabeng and Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region, neither was there a Court between Adum in Kumasi and Asante Bekwai or Obuasi in the Ashanti Region.
“I was also informed that some judges lived in insecure housing and were subject to abuse and threats after their judgements,” he said.
That, President Akufo-Addo said, was why the government, through the Ministry of Local Government and the District Assembly Common Fund in 2019, commenced an unprecedented initiative to construct 90 courts with accompanying accommodation for judges across the country, to help address the problem of inadequate court infrastructure.
He said through the efficiency and ingenuity of the Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund, Irene Naa Torshie Addo, “we are constructing 120 courts and 150 bungalows and not the 90 that was contemplated earlier.”
Seventy per cent of these projects, the President indicated, had been completed, adding: “with the commissioning of this residential complex here in Kumasi and the Magistrates Court in Toase later this afternoon, I deem all the completed projects duly commissioned.”
He, thus, charged the Chief Justice to take over and begin to post officers to start work.
President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that the massive infrastructural development would motivate the Judiciary to work even harder to promote justice and the rule of law in the country.
He assured that “we will continue to implement policies to advance the rule of law and, thereby, reinforce the confidence of the people and shore up our nation’s reputation as a country governed by the rule of law.”
The President expressed his appreciation to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for providing the land for the construction of the residential facility.
“The efforts of Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, his predecessor, Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, the former Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama and Hon. Irene Naa Torshie Addo, Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund, must be warmly commended,” he added.
Six new Regional High Courts are also being constructed in the newly created regions, i.e., Ahafo, Bono East, North East, Oti, Savannah and Western North. Three of the Courts, that is, those in Ahafo, Bono East and Oti Regions, have been completed and are ready for commissioning.
The other three, that is, those in North East, Savannah and Western North, which are 80% complete, will be ready for commissioning by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD