A renovated court building in Bongo, capital of the Bongo District in the Upper East Region, has been duly handed over to Ghana’s Chief Justice for onward use by the countrys judiciary. The refurbishment works on the facility deemed to have met some modern court standards, cost the Bongo District Assembly 160,000.00 Ghana Cedis for all the works to be carried out.
Since its construction between 1998 and 1999, the building which was purposed to be co-used as the District Court and Assembly Hall for mandatory meetings of the Assembly, has never tasted any major renovation works.
The District Court is now computerised, has three additional offices created from within the building and has also been provided with a mechanised borehole and an overhead tank to store water for constant supply to staff. Additionally, new louver blades, new ceiling fans and new air conditioners as well as water closet toilet units have been installed as part of the major renovation works.
Bongo District Chief Executive (DCE) Mr. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga in his welcome address at a brief commissioning ceremony held at the court this Wednesday recounted that hitherto, the court building was in an undesirable state which downed the spirit of court staff as the work environment wasn’t too appealing. He as the Local Government authority in charge of the jurisdiction, the Assembly felt that the Judicial Service deserved better than what was prevailing in order to enable the court provide the kind of essential services it was tasked with. Subsequently, the Assembly voted aside some substantial funds in its 2019 budget for major renovation works on the court building and by the close of 2019, the works had completed.
Hon. Ayinbisa acknowledged the quick intervention by His Lordship, the Chief Justice and the Judicial Service in the provision of some critical equipment including four desktop computers and a laptop with accompanying accessories for the efficient operation of the court and for that matter, the speedy delivery of justice. This it must be noted, came in as a result of the completed renovation works.
The DCE observed that with the presence of the court and the availability of a resident Magistrate in the district, there has been enormous drop in the rate of violent conflicts between individuals and among families as the people know of and believe in the court as that sure avenue and a more civilised way of seeking redress. He therefore pledged the continuous collaboration and support of the Assembly and the Bongo Traditional Council in rendering regular assistance to the judiciary including maintenance of the facility and its accessories.
In a speech read on her behalf Upper East Regional Minister Hon. Tangoba Abayage, commended authorities of the Bongo District for prioritising the provision of infrastructure for the judiciary which comes just about two years since the immediate-past Chief Justice paid an inspection visit to the region to see the state of judiciary facilities. She described the judiciary, an embodiment of all the courts in Ghana, as that crucial arm of government mandated to interpret the laws of the land, help to control social change and in charge of instituting settlement for disputes and other suits brought before it.
Hon. Tangoba said in as much as the Government was doing everything possible to improve access to the justice system across the country, there was also the need for the judiciary to reciprocate the gesture by doing the needful; do away with the phenomenon of overly prolonged trials and to also streamline arrangements with the Attorney Generals Department and the Ghana Police Service to fast-track public prosecutions.
The Regional Minister entreated the chiefs and people in the district to make good use of the court for the settlement of any misunderstandings or infractions that other forms of mediations were unable to find amicable solutions. She stressed that resorting to the courts was far better than taking the law into ones own hands as the end-result for perpetrators will most likely be a prison term dislocating ones plans for life.
Speaking on behalf Ghana’s Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, His Lordship, the Supervising High Court Judge Upper East Region, Justice Jacob Boon disclosed that, the headship of the judiciary and judicial service of the country was vigorously pursuing a decentralisation agenda with the main objective of extending justice to the doorsteps of the local people. He therefore advised residents in the district against sending their case courts in the regional capital emphasising that often, the profile of majority of such cases could easily be dealt with at the District Court.
Justice Boon noted that the judiciary as an entity, was not adequately resourced to build and furnish court houses throughout the country thus the frequent calls on all the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to take appropriate action in providing such structures as well as, secure decent accommodation for judges. While he praised Management of the Bongo Assembly for heeding to such calls and taking the required actions, he cited the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly as one which has been around in a long time and comparatively, well-resourced than Assemblies such as Bongo but yet refused over a long period to provide a conducive structure for the courts under its jurisdiction. He appealed to the Regional Minister to press the Assembly to action as the judiciary was not too enthused with such attitude of failure of responsibility.
In a related development, the Garu District Assembly also in the Upper East Region this Tuesday, handed over a newly constructed court building also installed with computers and air conditioners among other furnishings. A representative of the Chief Justice, took over the building for use by the judiciary. The said building was completed in 2019.
Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD-Bongo)