The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) says districts courts in the country are not fit for purpose.
According to the President of JUSAG, Alex Nartey, government has failed to heed the association’s appeal for improved conditions of service.
His comment comes after Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, hinted that six courts in the Central Region of Ghana risk being shut down at the end of the year.
The Chief Justice was shocked at the deplorable state of some of the courts she visited on the first day of her tour.
She bemoaned how the buildings are poorly structured and lack basic amenities, among other challenges.
Ms Akuffo was particularly taken aback when the Magistrate of the Kasoa District Court pulled out a ‘chamber pot’ from beneath her desk during her visit to the place.
Magistrate Felicia Gandezi explained that for years, the ‘no toilets’ situation means she’s got to be using a chamber pot because other staff have the washroom and other facilities to themselves, pulling out a chamber pot to show to the CJ.
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Speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show Dwaso Nsem Tuesday, Mr Nartey, defended the Chief Justice’ decision, explaining that government, has over the years, starved the judiciary and violated constitutional provisions that prevented it from varying the budgetary needs of the Judiciary Service.
He said even before the Judicial Service could submit its budget this year, the government had gone ahead to place a ceiling on the budget, above which no proposal was going to be accepted.
“This has plunged the Judicial Service into serious difficulties where most of the time some of our registries do not even have basic stationery to administer their daily responsibilities.
“It’s very bad and we support the CJ to close all districts court if the government refuses to fix our problems. Sometimes we are even forced to buy standing fans because there are no fans in the court. It’s pathetic and our lives are in danger” he cried.