As part of measures to address the infrastructure and accommodation challenges at the Judiciary, the government is constructing 98 courts and bungalows across the country for judges, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
At the swearing-in of 16 High Court judges at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said the court and accommodation projects were being constructed in all 16 regions of the country.
The new Justices of the High Court are Eva Bannerman-Williams, Emmanuel Bart-Plange Brew, Yaw Owoahene Acheampong, Samuel Boakye-Yiadom, Abdul Yusif Asibey, and Mrs Elfreda Amy Dankyi,
The rest are Mr Samuel Faraday Johnson, Ms Sheila Minta, Audrey Kocuvie-Tay, Nana Yaw Gyamfi Frimpong, Mr Ernest Yao Gaewu, Mr Solomon Oppong-Twumasi, Mr Charles Bentum, Mr Joseph Adu-Owusu Agyeman, Mr William Osei-Kuffour, and Mr Douglas Seidu.
President Akufo-Addo said the government has observed with concern, the inadequate numbers of courts in various parts of the country, resulting in citizens traversing long distances in order to gain access to the country's 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."
"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 three thousand cases pending there," he said.
To new justices, the President urged them to dispense justice without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, and without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliations.
"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 said.
He said his administration has introduced a number of policy measures to help bridge the technology gap at the Judiciary to shore up the nation's reputation as a country governed in accordance with the rule of law.
"That is why, last year, I launched the e-justice system, which is designed to leverage technology in the delivery of justice. I encourage all of you to take full advantage of the e-justice system, to expedite the conduct of cases that come before you, and in the management of the court. The transparent and efficient delivery of justice builds confidence in citizens, businesses and the investor community," he said.
President Akufo-Addo said the High Court has jurisdiction in all matters, both civil, and stressed the need for the court to command the respect of the people by the quality of its justice.