President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that a total of 98 courts and bungalows are being constructed by his administration for judges across the 16 regions of the country through the Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund.
This is to beef up the existing bungalows and courts in the country, indicating that the government has taken note of the inadequate number of courts in various parts of the country, which makes some citizens to traverse long distances in accessing courts.
“For example, there is no court between Adjabeng and Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region, neither is there a court between Adum in Kumasi and Asante Bekwai or Obuasi in the Ashanti Region,” President Akufo-Addo noted.
He was swearing in 16 new Justices of the High Court at a ceremony at the Jubilee House on Wednesday during which he said he was reliably informed that cases had piled up at the Adenta-Frafraha court complex nine months after the commissioning of the three-storey building.
“Indeed, it has been barely nine (9) months since I commissioned the three-storey court complex at Frafraha in Adenta, Accra, and I am reliably informed that there are already some 3,000 cases pending there,” he said.
The President stated that the Greater Accra and the Volta regions would each have eight courts and eight bungalows out of the 98 being constructed, while Oti has four courts and four bungalows; Eastern Region has 12 courts and 10 bungalows, and seven courts and eight bungalows were being done in the Western Region.
Additionally, there would be four courts and four bungalows in the Western North Region; four courts and four bungalows in the Central Region; five courts and five bungalows in the North East Region, and 20 courts and 14 bungalows in the Ashanti Region.
The said eight courts and eight bungalows would be constructed in the Ahafo Region; four courts and six bungalows in the Bono Region, and five courts and five bungalows in the Bono East Region.
The Northern Region would have three courts and three bungalows; Savannah, three courts and three bungalows; Upper West Region would have two courts and two bungalows and there would be three courts and three bungalows in Upper East.
President Akufo-Addo reminded the new High Court judges that the dispensation of justice required the application of the country’s laws in the hallowed “words of the judicial oath, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will; that is, without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliations of any person before you.”
“When a citizen falls foul of the law, that citizen, high or low, must be dealt with accordingly, and the law enforcement agencies, including you, our new judges, must ensure this is done. That is the true meaning of the concept of equality before the law,” he indicated.
He said his government had introduced a number of policy measures to help bridge the technology gap in the judicial administration, explaining that they were necessary to shore up the nation’s reputation as a country governed by the rule of law.
The judges who were sworn in were Justices Eva Bannerman-Williams, Emmanuel Bart-Plange Brew, Yaw Owoahene Acheampong, Samuel Boakye-Yiadom, Abdul Yusif Asibey, Elfreda Amy Dankyi, Samuel Faraday Johnson, Sheila Minta, Audrey Kocuvie-Tay, Nana Yaw Gyamfi Frimpong, Ernest Yao Gaewu, Solomon Oppong-Twumasi, Charles Bentum, Joseph Adu-Owusu Agyeman, William Osei-Kuffour, and Douglas Seidu.