Kwabenya police barracks

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the pragmatic implementation of programs and policies that have transformed the judicial system and made the administration of justice better than before.

According to her, the deliberate plan by the President to replace all dilapidated buildings for the judiciary with modern ones and as well, provide new infrastructure, especially, courtrooms and residential facilities to accommodate judges, has impacted positively on the judicial system.

She said the days when lawyers sat in dilapidated courtrooms and sweat profusely are now a thing of the past.

Likewise, the automation of the court system and the introduction of the virtual court system are all initiatives that have significantly increased accessibility to justice delivery.

Contributing to the debate on the President’s State of the Nation address on the floor of Parliament on Monday, March 4, 2024, the former Deputy Majority Leader said “Mr. Speaker, I strongly believe as a person that every leader must leave a legacy to which he or she would be remembered for when he or she is no more a leader. Just as we remember, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, our first President for the construction of our motorway and many more, this country shall forever be grateful and remember His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the conscious and well-calculated efforts and plan to improve and transform our judicial infrastructure”.

She added “Mr. Speaker, being a lawyer of 20 years of good standing, I completely appreciate this initiative by the government. Under this government, practising lawyers are more comfortable in our courtrooms. Sitting in dilapidated courthouses; sweating profusely in our wits and gowns; Mr. Speaker, we can boast that today it is now a thing of the past”.

However, the deputy Minority Whip and NDC MP for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim, objected to her claims, noting that the provision of infrastructure for the judiciary across the country was the sole initiative of Parliament.

“Mr. Speaker, the judiciary infrastructure that is being provided through the District Assembly Common Fund was initiated by Parliament, not President Akufo-Addo. The Court of Appeals houses in Kumasi were initiated by this House, not His Excellency, the President. They all were funded by the District Assemblies Common Fund, and it was you as the Speaker and the Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, as the Minority Leader who said that the court infrastructure in this country is so bad that we must allocate a portion of the Common Fund disbursement for that. These didn’t come from the Central Government’s disbursement. It was initiated from this House and approved by this House”, he clarified.

His concern was re-echoed by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, who presided over the sitting.

“This is the tragedy of this House. You keep on undermining the relevance of Parliament by attributing whatever you do and achieve to others. This actually was done here in Parliament, and we, year-in-and-year-out, approve the money from the Common Fund to support the judiciary for what you are talking about. The President is taking this away from us, you are supporting him and the judiciary. I have had a personal discussion with the Chief Justice on this and they are aware that we approved the money and we got it released from the Common Fund for the execution of the projects. Now the President is taking credit, and members are commending him for being his legacy, not yours. How will they see your relevance, how will they value you and how will they support you? But that is what has been captured by the President and so she is commenting on that”, he said.

Adwoa Safo, a former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, in reaction to the point of order raised by the Deputy Minority Whip, stated that the mention of government refers to all three arms of government.

“The mention of my government by the President includes efforts and initiatives achieved collaboratively by all three arms of government,” she explained.

Commenting further, she lauded the President for appointing another woman, Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Araba Eassaba Sackey Torkornoo as Chief Justice stressing that “this is good for feminism and this is good for gender equality and it is good for role model for young girls and women coming up who look up to our current Chief Justice”.

The Dome-Kwabenya lawmaker praised President Akufo-Addo for the provision of 121 residential units for judges across the country and the soon-to-be-commissioned 12-storey building that was initiated by former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

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