Jurors to resume work after Chief Justice assures arrears payment
Chief Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo has convinced jurors in the Ashanti Region to return to court after they suspended their services earlier this month over unpaid allowances.
Their strike had resulted in a halt in murder cases in the Ashanti Region amounting to a backlog of cases.
Initially owed 13 months of arrears, the government released funds on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, covering only three months (October to December 2022).
The jurors, however, lamented that the released funds were insufficient and vowed to abstain from duties until the government settled the remaining 10 months arrears for this year.
Speaking in an engagement with the jurors in Kumasi, Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo implored them to be fair and appreciate all the state was doing on their behalf.
She explained that they were getting paid in their respective professions and were also getting paid for their duties are jurors.
“Ghana is paying you for being there and Ghana will give you more money for coming here and you say you won’t work because you have got that one but you haven’t got this one,” she said
“As for justice, it’s scales. We weigh and weigh. I put it to you that this is not fair. If anybody here thinks this is fair, I’ll give you the microphone and you’ll tell me why,” the Chief Justice stressed further.
The head of the nation’s judiciary also urged them take into account the plight of remanded prisoners and the trauma of having to keep coming to court.
“I know you’ll tell me that most of you are staying closer to where your jobs are but with all due respect, you would have gone to your jobs five days a week , are you here five days a week?” She said.
The Chief Justice therefore assured them the government will sort out their arrears and urged them to return to court on Monday, November 20, 2023.
“In November, Ghana will put money in your account so come back to work on Monday. As for your allowances, none of you has been able to tell me that you’ve been living without your allowances forever. It came, it just came late.
I’m going to do everything I can to make sure your allowances stop coming late,” she stressed.
The General Foreman for Jurors in the Ashanti Region, Albert Ackah, said expressed satisfaction over the Chief Justice’s assurance and pledged to reach out to his colleagues to return to court on Monday, November 20, 2023.
“That’s our mother. She has asked us to return to court and we have agreed. As she promised she’ll make sure our allowances come on time. So come Monday, why not. This is what w were expecting long ago and she has shown that she respects jurors in Kumasi so on Monday we are coming,” he said
“After meeting Chief Justice, we have resolved everything so Monday we are coming to court.
I’ll speak to my people both those who were here and those who weren’t that on Monday we are coming to court to perform our duties as assigned by the state,” Mr Ackah.