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07.05.2005 Crime & Punishment

CJ expresses concern about bail to armed robbers

By GNA

Kumasi, May 7, GNA - Justice George Kingsley Acquah, the Chief Justice, has expressed concern about the practice whereby some courts grant bail to armed robbers while deciding to remand in prison custody minor traffic offenders.

He said such a practice does not only create wrong impressions about the judiciary but also seeks to undermine fairness in the administration of justice.

The Chief Justice therefore, entreated members of the judiciary to fully scrutinise cases and ensure that only those who genuinely merit bail are granted such facility.

Justice Acquah expressed these sentiments at a ceremony in Kumasi on Friday to present assorted drugs and cleaning materials valued at nine million cedis to the Kumasi Central Prisons Infirmary. The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Middle Zone, under its Advocacy for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS project, presented the items for the Kumasi Central Prisons.

The items included quantities of eardrops, omega oil, benzyl benzoate, angel cream, dettol, paracetamol, flagyl, eusol, chloramphenicol and other antibiotics.

Justice Acquah, who is also the immediate Past President of the PPAG called on Prison authorities to liaise with the Ghana Health Service and the PPAG to provide not only the requisite health services to the inmates but also information on HIV/AIDS to them. Mr. Oppong Kofi Tweneboah-Koduah, Ashanti Regional Prisons Commander, complained to the Chief Justice about serious congestions at the prisons and appealed to him to assist find a solution to the problem.

He attributed the congestion problem in the prisons mainly to the numerous adjournments by the law courts, which normally paves way for offenders even with minor offences to be remanded in prison custody. The Kumasi Central Prisons was originally built to accommodate 600 prisoners, but has to presently contend with 1,350 inmates with 555 being remand prisoners.

Present at the ceremony were Dr (Mrs) Frances Owusu-Daaku, President, Dr Joana Nerquaye Tetteh, Executive Director and Mrs Elsie Ayeh, Zonal Manager Middle zone, all of the PPAG.

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