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02.03.2004 Regional News

Kumasi to get three Appeal Courts

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Kumasi, March 2, GNA- The Judicial Service is to establish three Courts of Appeal in Kumasi to serve the Ashanti and the Northern sectors of the country.

In addition, the Service is increasing the number of High Courts in the region from the present six to 10.

The Chief Justice, Mr Justice George Kingsley Acquah, announced this in Kumasi on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace.

Mr Justice Acquah said 10 additional district courts would also be established in Kumasi to ensure speedy adjudication of cases in the Ashanti Region.

He, therefore, appealed to Otumfuo and the Kumasi Traditional Council to assist the Service by offering land for the construction of court buildings and accommodation for judges and other staff who would be required to work in the region.

Mr Justice Acquah said the Judicial Service was currently putting in place, measures to employ more judges and magistrates to fill vacant positions in the Service.

He expressed concern about the deplorable nature of court buildings in the region and appealed to the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) and district assemblies to help rehabilitate them. Mr Justice Acquah commended the Asantehene for establishing the Otumfuo Education Fund to assist needy but brilliant students in the country and donated two million cedis as the Judicial Service's contribution to the fund.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu commended the Chief Justice on his appointment. He said the judiciary had a tremendous role to play to ensure that the rule of law was maintained in the country.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the proper interpretation of the constitution by the judiciary would go a long way to bring peace and harmony and deepen the democratic dispensation of the country.

He appealed to the judiciary to take a second look at the Chieftaincy Act and Act 270 of the country's constitution and take steps to harmonise them.

The Asantehene said his order to disputing stools and families to withdraw all chieftaincy disputes from the courts to his traditional courts for settlement had yielded fruitful results since most of such cases had been resolved amicably and peace restored to feuding parties. He called on the Chief Justice to exhibit tact in leading the judiciary to transform itself.

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