President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has broken ground on a 76,575,937 Ghana cedi project to provide residential facilities for appeal court judges in Kumasi.
The 20-unit four-bedroom townhouses, each with a boys’ quarters, are scheduled to be finished in eight months and are being built in the Danyame enclave, a prime Kumasi location.
In addition, a six-unit three-bedroom apartment with boys’ quarters will be designed for directors and other administrative personnel.
The creation of a permanent court of appeal complex in Kumasi, according to President Akufo-Addo, would help strengthen the country’s justice delivery mechanism for the northern region.
“Once completed, it means that appeals from Savannah, Upper East and West, North-East, Northern, Bono, Bono-East, Ahafo, Western North, and Ashanti will be conveniently heard within a matter of period,” he added.
He explained that since the country’s only court of appeal is in Accra, ongoing hearings from the northern region of the country have been sluggish, resulting in a significant backlog of cases awaiting the court of appeal’s attention.
“Indeed the court of appeal moving from Accra to Kumasi, Tamale, Ho, Kofridua, and Cape Coast delayed the adjudication process and the associated financial implication of this arrangement had, over the years, been a great concern in the dispensation of justice,” President Akufo-Addo said.
To counter the country’s insufficient facilities, he said the government, through the Ministry of Local Government and the District Assemblies Common Fund, had begun the construction of 90 courts with corresponding accommodation for judges across the country.
The President stated that the administration would remain committed to enacting policies that would advance the rule of law and, as a result, increase public confidence in the judiciary system.
He praised the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, for donating land for the project without payment, and praised the Chief Justice and his team for their hard work.
The Chief Justice, Justice Akwasi Anin-Yeboah, stated that judicial reforms and the resulting need to implement various interventions to improve access to justice necessitated the appointment of additional judges and magistrates.
He went on to say that the judges’ situation was made worse by the lack of suitable lodging.
As a result, the court of appeal judges in the Bono, Bono-East, and Ahafo regions were forced to work on an itinerary, which hampered justice delivery, he added.
Justice Anin-Yeboah praised the government for allowing the building of the accommodations, saying it would improve judges’ working conditions.