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The newly installed wheelchair ramp leading to the general reception area of the Supreme Court
The newly installed wheelchair ramp leading to the general reception area of the Supreme Court

Judicial Service installs wheelchair ramps at Supreme Court ....following Daily Graphic publication

The Judicial Service has installed wheelchair ramps at the two main entrances to the Supreme Court building. 

This follows a publication by the Daily Graphic which highlighted the plight of a physically challenged court user who had threatened to sue the Chief Justice and Attorney-General after two petitions.

The building also the venue for the Court of Appeal sittings in Accra.

The Daily Graphic checks indicated that although the ramps have been fixed, railings were yet to be fixed along the stairs leading to the courtroom where proceedings take place.

The railings are required to enhance the security and safety of users of the ramps.

Reacting to the latest development, S.Y. Felix Ntoso, who petitioned the Chief Justice over the matter, commended the Judicial Service for the swift action following the publication.

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“I was very impressed and this is a good start though very late. It is good to begin from somewhere.

“I am grateful to the Daily Graphic in particular for doing a story on it and to Joy FM for doing a newspaper review on it, and then Citi TV for giving it a space in the major news bulletin,” Mr Ntoso said in an interview with the paper.

He, however, urged the Judicial Service to consult experts to make access to the courtroom more accessible, adding that “even inside the courtroom of the Supreme Court, there are terraces without banisters”. 

Background

Mr Ntoso threatened to sue the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General if steps were not taken to make the Supreme Court user-friendly for Persons With Disability (PWDs).

In a letter detailing his intention to sue the state, Mr Ntoso said the absence of ramps and banisters at the stairs to the entrance, coupled with the steep stairs in the building, made it difficult and unfriendly for PWDs to access the building.

He said this was in direct contravention of the Persons With Disability Act, 2006, Act 715.

Responding to the concerns raised by Mr Ntoso, the Deputy Judicial Secretary, Justice Richard Apietu, in a letter dated August 11, 2022, said: “I have been directed by His Lordship, the acting Chief Justice, to inform you that the Judicial Service is yet to receive the budgetary allocation for the construction of the ramp and banisters at the entrance of the Supreme Court building”.

The Deputy Judicial Secretary added that it made provision in its 2022 budget for the installation of the new lifts at the Supreme Court.

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