Chief Justice in a group Photo with other officials at Ho Central Prison
By: Kekeli Blamey/IGNews/VR
The Chief Justice of the republic of Ghana, Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo, together with the US Ambassador, Stephanie Sanders Sullivan and representatives from Unite Nations (UN) have made a day visit to the Ho Central Prison as part of the “Justice for All Program.”
Accompanied by some High court judges, Mrs. Akuffo stated that, her office will commence a decentralization process of the Justice for all program in January next year (2020).
She said, this will enable every High court Judge to provide the necessary legal activity to people who have been remanded into prison custody for several years, pending committal and trial at the law court.
She however noted that, out of the 27 applications from the various inmates, only 2 were acquitted and discharged unconditionally adding that 2 have been convicted but bonded as 14 have been granted bail, 8 applications were refused and 1 application was struck out.
Mrs. Akuffo lauded the High court Judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga for his commitment to the judicial service of Ghana.
She also observed the efforts of the prison service personnel in the region, stating their conscious efforts to train prisoners in diverse areas to make life better.
Mrs. Akuffo however reiterated the need to reduce the intake of prisoners at the central prison to its minimum as she hinted that, government is committed to ensuring other procedural laws and measures be put in place to curb the situation of congestion.
Meanwhile the Volta Regional Prisons Commander, Andrew Dzokoto noted that, the Ho Central Prison is congested with a total of 501 prisoners instead of the standard 150 inmates.
He therefore urged the Chief Justice to deploy efforts to decongest the central prison as soon as possible to ease the problem of overpopulation as well as overcrowding in the facility.
The Justice for All program seeks to give legal relieve to prisoners who have been remanded into prison custody for several years without legal adjudication and also create an opportunity to decongest some prisons in the country.