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17.06.2004 General News

Regional House of Chiefs to get counsel

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Accra, June 17, GNA- The Office of the Attorney General (AG) is taking steps to provide counsel for the Western Regional House of Chiefs to ensure speedy settlement of cases pending before it. Papa Owusu-Ankomah, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, said the Office of the AG had not relented in its efforts to engage counsel for the Houses of Chiefs in the country, including that for the Western Region.

The Minister was answering a question on behalf of Mr. Albert Obbin NPP Prestea-Huni Valley in Parliament on Thursday.

Mr Obbin wanted to known what the Ministry of Justice was doing to speed up judgement on numerous chieftaincy cases before the Western Regional House of Chiefs.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah said currently the Western Regional House of Chiefs has no counsel and the AG was doing all that it could to provide the House with a permanent counsel.

The Minister said destoolment charges were pending against some members of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, and this was making it impossible for those members to be empanelled to adjudicate on cases pending before the House.

"Altogether there are 26 cases pending before the Judicial Committee of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, " the Minister said. Giving a break down of the cases as at January, this year, he said out of 11 cases referred to the Reconciliation Committee of the House, two have been amicably settled, two however could not be settled leaving seven cases for resolution.

The Justice Minister said three cases have partly been heard, but there are four other fresh cases.

"One case has been adjourned Sine die pending judgement due to the death of the parties. Two cases are ready for hearing and will be heard when the Judicial Committee is empanelled."

"In one case the petitioner is deceased but there has not been any substitution. Six cases are under the Registrar's Summons but the parties have failed to prosecute the cases", Papa Owusu Ankomah said and explained the various stages of settlement of cases before the Judicial Committee of the Western Region.

The Minister of Energy, Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum was also in the House to answer a question as to when seven communities in the Nkwanta Constituency would be connected to the national electricity grid. Mr Gershon Gbediame, NDC-Nkwanta wanted to know when Kpassa, Bonakye, Sibi Damanko, Tutukpene, Odumasi, Kacheibi Odomi and Keri all in his constituency would be connected to the national grid. Dr Ndoum said these communities have been programmed for connection to the national grid under the SHEP-4 programme.

"The Communities would be considered in line with the implementation schedule when the necessary funding is secured."

"We however note that Kpassa is currently enjoying solar electricity supply. All the solar systems in this community would therefore be retrieved and relocated to other beneficiary communities after the national electricity grid has been extended to the community," the Minister added.

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