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12.12.2005 Regional News

Non-payment of allowances delay dispensation of justice

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Wassa-Akropong (W/R), Dec. 12, GNA - Panel members of the Juvenile Court of the Department of Social Welfare at Wassa-Akropong in the Amenfi East have not been paid their sitting allowances for more than one year, Mr. James Boadi, District officer of the Department has said. He told the Ghana News Agency at Wassa-Akropong at the weekend that as a result, panel members were no more interested in attending sittings and that the situation was impeding prompt and speedy resolution of criminal charges and complaints involving minors.

Members of Juvenile Courts are paid 18,000 cedis per sitting. Mr Boadi said the situation had also created a backlog of cases that should have been heard. He mentioned stealing and assault topping the list of crimes committed by minors between the ages of 10 and 17 years, describing the situation as very alarming.

"Not less than 10 children are arrested every month by the police for stealing, assault and other vices", he said. In a related development, Nii Amartey Laryea, Amenfi West district officer of the Department, attributed the rising cause of child delinquency in the area to the lack of parental responsibility. He said many children rather preferred joining "galamsey" operations at the expense of their education, thereby exposing them to money at very early stage.

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