We'll not allow peace, stability of nation to be compromised by ambitious presidentia aspirants - Akufo-Addo. PHOTOS BY SAMUEL TEI ADANO
We'll not allow peace, stability of nation to be compromised by ambitious presidentia aspirants - Akufo-Addo. PHOTOS BY SAMUEL TEI ADANO
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We'll not allow peace, stability of nation to be compromised by ambitious presidential aspirants - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given an assurance that he will always insist on due process and rules of natural justice in alleged cases of corruption involving state officials and all Ghanaians.

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He said mere allegations without evidence were not enough to merit condemnation of any accused public official.

President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when he commissioned The Law House Building Complex for the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice in Accra on Monday [June 10, 2024].

The 10-storey structure, which commenced 24 years ago when President Akufo-Addo was the Minister of Justice, has facilities for the Attorney-General, suites for his two deputies and a two-tier basement as car parks. It also has 130 offices, a large conference room, a canteen, two libraries, rooms for pupils, interns and researchers, a kitchenette and space for social gatherings. 

Situated close to the Courts Complex, opposite the headquarters of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the project has seen 10 Ministers of Justice and Attorney-Generals and four presidents.

Explaining the concept that  the rule of law was the best protection of individual liberty in good times and bad times , President Akufo-Addo recounted a story his father told him in the 1960s when Tawia Adamafio, a minister in the Nkrumah regime, played a lead role in instituting a special criminal court of the High Court.

He said that court was established to deal promptly and decisively with cases, especially, and as a broader strategy to consolidate power and maintain tight control over the political landscape of the country.

He said by a twist of fate, in 1963, Adamafio became one of the first persons to be tried before this very special court for attempting to assassinate Dr Nkrumah.

President Akufo-Addo said the judges, which included his father, a Supreme Court judge by then, found Adamafio and others innocent of the charges of treason.

Election

President Akufo-Addo reassured Ghanaians that the law enforcement agencies, including the Office of the Attorney-General, would not relent in ensuring that law and order prevailed in the country at all times, especially during this critical election year.

We will not allow the peace, security and stability of the nation, which have made Ghana a beacon of democracy on the African continent, to be compromised on the altar of the ambitions of any political party or presidential candidate. It will not happen, he added.

He announced that all the laws in the statute books, including those on vigilantism, would be strictly and vigorously enforced to preserve the peace and tranquility of the country, indicating that,  we owe that to the good people of Ghana, who have demonstrated so consistently and openly their deep attachment to peaceful democratic values.

Infrastructure

President Akufo-Addo added that as part of his commitment to improving judicial infrastructure and ensuring the safety and security of judges who often faced risks in the line of duty, his administration since 2017 had constructed many courthouses and accommodation for judges. 

Those, he said, included the completion of 79 courthouses, 121 residential accommodation for judges, fully furnished four-bedroom units, together with social amenities for Justices of the Court of Appeal in Kumasi.

Legal Aid

He added that until 2022, the Legal Aid Commission had only six vehicles, which had been increased to 90, adding that in his time as President, 115 vehicles had been acquired for use by officials of the Ministry of Justice.

Digitisation

Taking the gathering through the digitisation and modernisation of the legal and judicial systems commenced by his government, he said, one major achievement in this regard was the digitisation of court processes.

He mentioned the introduction of electronic filing systems and reducing the reliance on paper-based documentation, as an initiative which had not only expedited the handling of cases but had also enhanced transparency and accountability within the legal system.

President Akufo-Addo explained that the inauguration of the Law House was not just a celebration of a new building but a collective commitment to the rule of law and justice.  This is proof of our belief that a strong legal system is essential to the development and prosperity of our nation .

Proud moment

The Chief Justice, Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, stated that the inauguration of the building marked a proud moment for the legal community, noting that the legal community was claiming its place in the iconic destination of the country and adding value beyond the work of justice delivery.

She said access to justice went beyond providing courts to include facilities for legal education, law reports, facilities for law reforms, facilities for legal aid services and well-resourced professionals along all of the justice delivery chain.

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The Chief Justice called for a replication of the edifice around the country to promote justice delivery and expressed the hope of witnessing another beautiful edifice to house the Council for Law Reporting, Legal Aid Commission, Law Reform Commission, Legal Service Board and all agencies that feed into the provision of justice in the nation.

For his part, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, said the era where regional offices of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice and other agencies of the ministry perched in the corner of buildings belonging to other government institutions would soon be over. 

"I m of the respectful view that every regional office of the Ministry of Justice ought to own at least a three-storey office. I have commenced discussions in this regard with the World Bank towards the possibility of funding of this project".

The Minister of Justice said he was working on obtaining funding for the construction of a modern permanent office for the Legal Aid Commission. 

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"In the meantime, I hereby indicate that I will relinquish the use of the former office block of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice for the Legal Aid Commission to utilise as its new office". 

Also, the building that currently housed the Council for Law Reporting and Legal Aid would be replaced with a much more modern edifice in a few years, worthy of the noble services which the two institutions discharge in the country. "The offices of the Law Reform Commission will experience the same", he added.

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