The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has called for the immediate closure of the James Fort Prisons in Accra, saying its dilapidated state poses great danger to both inmates and Prison Officers.
It further requested that as part of the process, inmates should be relocated to other prisons without delay.
This was disclosed at a press conference organized by the association in Accra yesterday, following resolutions it took at this year's annual conference at Koforidua.
Speaking to the media, GBA national president, Nii Osah Mills, said whilst it recognizes that the on-going Justice-For-All programme is a first step towards the decongestion of the country's prisons, members think the conditions of inmates in terms of feeding must be improved.
“In this regard, the GBA appeals to the government to, as a matter of great urgency and on humanitarian grounds, increase the ¢4,000 daily feeding allowance for the upkeep of prisoners and provide medical care and facilities for both inmates and officers of the prisons,” the resolution noted.
The association further condemned in no uncertain terms the spate of mob action in the country and entreated the general public to refrain from it. It also appealed to the media to embark on massive public education to create the needed awareness.
On the association, he said the GBA has to recognize that Constitutionalism is based on the rule of law, and that the maintenance of an independent and bold judiciary is vital for the sustenance of democratic rule and good governance.
He said members of the Legal Profession have to “promote and foster efficient and speedy delivery of Justice in the country”.
The GBA also congratulated Her Ladyship, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood on her appointment as Chief Justice of Ghana, and pledged its support for her efforts at strengthening the administration of justice in the country.
It finally repeated its condemnation of the genocide in Darfur and urged the UN and AU to expeditiously resolve the problem in order to bring peace to the area.
The theme of the annual conference was: “Fifty years of administration of justice in Ghana”.
By Helene Haus