President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday commissioned a residential complex for Court of Appeal Judges in the Ashanti Region as well 120 courts and 150 bungalows for judges across the country.
He said in the course of his first term in office, government took note of the inadequate numbers of courts in various parts of the country, resulting in citizens travelling long distances to gain access to courts.
“For example, 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,” the President said.
The President said that was why government, through the Ministry of Local Government and the District Assembly Common Fund, commenced the construction of 90 courts with accompanying accommodation for judges across the country, to help address the problem of inadequate court infrastructure.
He noted that through the efficiency and ingenuity of the Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund, Irene Naa Torshie Addo, “government is constructing 120 courts and 150 bungalows that were contemplated earlier”.
The President disclosed that 70% of these projects had been completed, stressing that “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”.
Consequently, the President charged the Chief Justice to take over and begin to post officers to start work with immediate effect.
The President was hopeful that this massive infrastructural development would motivate the Judiciary to work even harder to promote justice and the rule of law in the country.
He assured the public that government would continue to implement policies to advance the rule of law. That, he indicated, would reinforce the confidence of the people, and shore up the 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 of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, and 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, namely 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 at 80% completion, will be ready for commissioning by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The new, modern Court of Appeal complex in Kumasi, together with 20 townhouses and a guesthouse to serve as permanent residences for Court of Appeal Judges based in Kumasi, who will be mandated to handle appeals from the northern sector of the country, have been completed and commissioned.