On Monday, October 17, 2022, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic, officially opened a residence complex for Court of Appeal judges in the Ashanti Region and dedicated a total of 120 courts and 150 bungalows throughout the nation.
President Akufo-Addo claims that during his first time in office, the government took note of the under-representation of courts in different regions of the nation, which required individuals to travel great distances to access courts.
“For example, there was no Court between Adjabeng and Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region, neither was there a Court between Adum in Kumasi and Asante Bekwai or Obuasi in the Ashanti Region. I was also informed that some judges lived in insecure housing, and were subject to abuse and threats after their judgements,” he said.
The President continued, “That is why, in my Message on the State of the Nation, on 9th March 2021, Government, through the Ministry of Local Government and the District Assembly Common Fund, has commenced, in an unprecedented initiative, the construction of ninety (90) courts with accompanying accommodation for judges across the country, to help address the problem of inadequate court infrastructure.”
However, President Akufo-Addo noted that through the efficiency and ingenuity of the Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund, Hon. Irene Naa Torshie Addo, “we are, in fact, constructing one hundred and twenty (120) courts and one hundred and fifty (150) bungalows and not the ninety (90) that was contemplated earlier”.
Indeed, seventy percent (70%) of these projects, the President noted, have been completed, stressing that “with the commissioning of this residential complex here, in Kumasi, and the Magistrates Court in Toase later this afternoon, I deem all the completed projects duly commissioned.”
Thus, he instructed the Chief Justice to assume control and start posting officers so they could start working right once.
President Akufo-Addo hoped that this significant investment in the nation’s infrastructure will inspire the judiciary to work even more to advance the rule of law and justice in the nation.
According to him, “we will continue to execute policies to advance the rule of law, and, consequently, reaffirm the people’s confidence, and shore up our nation’s reputation as a country ruled by the rule of law.”
The President thanked Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, for donating the site for the residential facility’s construction.
“The efforts of Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, his predecessor, Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, the former Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, and Hon. Irene Naa Torshie Addo, Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund, must be warmly commended,” he added.
In the six newly established regions, namely Ahafo, Bono East, North East, Oti, Savannah, and Western North, six new Regional High Courts are also being built.
In the Ahafo, Bono East, and Oti Regions, three of the Courts have been finished and are prepared for commissioning.
By the end of the first quarter of 2023, the remaining three, located in North East, Savannah, and Western North, which are each 80% complete, will be prepared for commissioning.
The President has approved the completion and commissioning of the new, contemporary Court of Appeal complex in Kumasi, along with twenty (20) townhouses and a guesthouse to act as permanent residences for Court of Appeal Judges based in Kumasi who will be tasked with hearing appeals from the northern region of the nation.