Ghanaian News

Chief Justice opens “District Court” in Kotobabi, launches community sensitization programme

Chief Justice of the Republic, Justice Gertrude Araba Sackey Torkornoo, has commissioned a new district court complex in Kotobabi, a suburb in the Ayawaso Central constituency in the Greater Accra Region. At the event, the Chief Justice also launched a new initiative she called; “The Chief Justice’s Community Sensitization Programme”.

The Kotobabi court complex is part of the government’s nationwide agenda which started in the year 2020, aimed at constructing one hundred courthouses to improve judicial infrastructure across the country.

The Chief Justice’s Community Sensitization Programme, on the other hand, is aimed at ensuring that the ordinary Ghanaian understands the court system and takes steps to make use of it when the need arises.

The facility commissioned by the Chief Justice has adequate office space for all court functions, washrooms for staff and court users, male and female cells, solar power, a standby generator, a borehole to provide a sustainable water supply for the washroom, electric fencing to boost security and a dedicated space for court-connected alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Justice in the community
Addressing attendees at the inauguration ceremony on Thursday, 14 December 2023, at the forecourt of the Kotobabi court, Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, said: “One of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that all nations are tasked to pursue, is to provide access to justice for all citizens”.

To this end, the Chief Justice said the timely construction of the Kotobabi court will go a long way to help in achieving the SDG goal of access to justice in Kotobabi and its environs.

“Law makes three promises – Order, Justice, and Peace, and these three bring prosperity. It is for this reason that we are most pleased that the Ayawaso Central Municipal Assembly has taken on this challenge frontally in constructing this District Court to address the justice needs of Kotobabi and its neighboring suburbs.

“The administration of justice cannot be left to lawyers and judges alone. The directions and content of the law are so important and so vital to our nation that all citizens must take a keen interest in all matters to do with the administration of justice,” Chief Justice Torkornoo said.

“If we are to thrive and prosper as a nation, then the law needs to be known, understood, to be applied to all, and to be policed by all. That all of you are here today is evidence that in Kotobabi, community leaders are ready to do what needs to be done for the growth of access to justice in the community” the Chief Justice added.

Take advantage
Quoting Article 125(1) of the 1992 Constitution which directs that “justice emanates from the people and shall be administered by the Judiciary,” Chief Justice Torkornoo said, “the administration of justice must be brought to the doorsteps of citizens so that they have recourse to it with the minimum of effort. This is what has happened today, in Kotobabi”.

“This building and all that is in it, has only been possible through the immense commitment and sacrifices of the Ayawaso Central Municipal Assembly. Now that the administration of justice has been brought close, I wish to urge all citizens to take advantage of its presence to right wrongs and correct offenses.

“As citizens, the law is our most potent avenue for resolving conflicts. It is the cornerstone of all modern societies. This is how the peace that we are so proud to have in Ghana can be maintained” Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo remarked.

Decentralizing justice
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the Ayawaso Central Municipal Assembly, Archibald Mac Amuasi Cobbina, in his remarks, said, the Kotobabi court facility has come at an appropriate time because hitherto, the assembly has had to travel to the La Dade-Kotopon district court on daily basis to prosecute its sanitation cases.

He indicated that the building of the court in the Ayawaso Central constituency will go a long way toward making the concept of the decentralization of justice delivery a reality in the municipal assembly. Mr Archibald Mac Amuasi Cobbina urged residents in the municipality to use the court which is now very close to them to seek justice instead of taking the law into their own hands.

“Today marks a milestone in the history of Ayawaso Central Municipal Assembly by the fulfillment of section 12 (3h) of the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936) which mandates us to ensure ready access to courts in the municipality for the promotion of justice. This we have delivered” Mr Mac Amuasi Cobbina said.

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