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23.07.2004 Crime & Punishment

Safeguard legality and truth- Chief Justice

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Nkawie (Ash), July 23, GNA- The Chief Justice, Mr Justice George Kingsley Acquah, has asked the courts to resist any conduct contrary to legality and truth.

Mr Justice Acquah was inaugurating a 480 million cedis building for a new circuit court at Nkawie in the Atwima District of Ashanti on Friday.

It was built by the District Assembly from its internally generated funds.

The Chief Justice said, "Courts are desirable for ensuring that citizens made maximum use of the opportunities available to them. He said:" essentially courts are a mechanism for the maintenance of law and order and for ensuring that people go about their legitimate duties and interests with minimum risk."

He stated that the new vision was therefore to build a judicial service noted for its purity and efficiency, adding, " my perceived impatience would be measured against these noble objectives."

He mentioned continuing judicial education and Complaints Unit of the Judicial Service as some of the measures put in place to promote efficiency and reduce corrupt practices within the service.

Mr Justice Acquah cautioned the people not to have animosity against judges and staff of the courts.

They should not influence the decision of the courts by offering gifts or seeking favours, he said.

The Chief Justice gave the assurance that the complaints unit of the service "will be too willing to investigate petitions in respect of any favours solicited by officials of the courts which have the tendency of corrupting the system".

He hoped remedies they provide would be combined with the traditional arbitral methods and modern Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to bring peace and developments in the area.

Mr Charles Yeboah, the District Chief Executive, said the decision of the assembly to put up a court building was to help bring justice to the doorsteps of the people in the area.

He praised the Nkawiehene for housing the district Magistrate's court that had now been upgraded to a circuit court.

Nana Twum Barima Apau III, the Nkawiehene, appealed to the Chief Justice to help provide staff quarters for officers of the court. Mr Justice Acquah had earlier inaugurated a Magistrate's court at Nyinahin, the capital of the newly created Atwima-Mponua district.

The chief of the town, Nana Boateng Twum II, said since chiefs played an important role in judicial administration, it was important for the Judicial Service to organise special training programmes for them to promote efficient adjudication of cases that come before them.

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