Jurors back to work
Jurors, who abandoned duties over unpaid allowances, have resumed work at the High Court in Accra.
The protest by the jurors last Monday compelled judges to adjourn cases of murder as observed by the Daily Graphic in Accra.
A source alleged that the jurors decided to lay down their tools because their allowances from January to June 2023 had not been paid.
As at 11:00 a.m. yesterday, however, it was observed that jurors at the criminal jurisdiction of the High Court had resumed work as cases were being heard.
The jury is made up of seven ordinary but educated persons who, subject to the directions of a judge, decide the fate - guilt or innocence, of an accused in a case tried upon indictment.
On Monday October 30, this year, two murder cases, being tried at the High Court in Accra, could not continue as jurors in both cases abandoned their duties due to unpaid arrears.
The cases were the trial of 14 accused persons over the death of a Military Officer, Major Maxwell Mahama, and two teenagers, also, over the death of an 11-year-old boy at Kasoa, in the Central Region.
Although the accused persons, state and defence counsels were present in court, the cases had to be adjourned due to the absence of the jurors.
This was the third time, this year, that jurors had to abandon their duties over unpaid arrears.
In April this year, jurors on the murder case of the late (NPP) Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa North Constituency, J.B. Danquah Adu, served notice of their inability to be in court due to the non-payment of their allowances.
In a letter addressed to the presiding judge, the jurors claimed they had not been paid their allowances since March 2022.
The jurors explained that the failure to pay the allowances affected their ability to carry out their duties because they could not continue to bear the cost of footing their transportation to attend the court hearings.
Again, in July this year, proceedings of some cases, including murder and manslaughter, were suspended in the Upper West Region after jurors staged a walkout over their allowances which had been in arrears since 2021.