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08.04.2009 General News

Nsawam prison hosts Court sittings

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A 23 year-old man who has been on remand for the past eight years on robbery charges on Tuesday appealed to the Judicial Service to expedite action into his case for him to know his fate.

Godwin Bedi, a native of Dzodze in the Volta Region, told reporters that he was arrested at the age of 15 and was sent to the Adjabeng District Magistrate Court on two occasions but since then he had not been to any court.

This came to light when the Nsawam Medium Prisons hosted a High Court, nine district magistrate courts and two circuit courts as part of the "Access to Justice" programme instituted by the Judicial Service, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General and Ghana Police Service to deal with remand prisoners whose warrants had expired.

The programmes would also afford the hearing of some cases of remand inmates and other related matters.

Most of the cases heard were stealing, murder, unlawful entry, rape and robbery.

Bedi who lived at Haatso in Accra said when he appeared before the Adjabeng court he pleaded not guilty and ever since nothing has been done.

Mr Justice Clemence Honyenuga, a Court of Appeal judge, supervised the programme. In attendance were Ms Gertrude Aikins, Director for Public Prosecution, Attorneys from the Attorney General's Department (Prosecution Division), police investigators and prosecutors and prison warders.

The programme for the first time saw the formation of a High Court, presided by Mr Justice Hoyenuga, who heard 19 cases, including robbery and murder.

The court granted bail to Kwabena Omari, 60, who is seriously ill.

Omari has been on remanded for the past eight years on charges of murder.

Statistics available to the press indicated that the Osu District Court had 22 cases brought before it.

Out of the 22 cases, the court issued two bench warrants, while five persons had their warrants renewed and the rest of the cases were referred to the Circuit and High Court for trial.

The La District Magistrate Court had heard 15 cases, out of which six were disposed of and the rest adjourned to a later date.

Amasaman District Court had 28 cases before it. The court had a number of murder cases referred to the Attorney General's Department. One person was asked to sign a bond of good behaviour.

James Town District Magistrate's Court which had nine cases before it, discharged one person. Three murder cases and five robbery cases were, however, referred to A-G's Department for advice.

Statistics on the Nsawam Medium Prison as at Tuesday indicate that the prison has 2,918 inmates, 1,711 as remand prisoners, 77 in condemned cells, 77 on life sentence and one escapee.


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