Ongoing renovation works at the Osu Magistrate’s Court, located in the Osu Palace, have compelled the court to virtually sit in ‘camera’.
With just two makeshift offices available, one serving as the chambers of the magistrate and the other being used by the court registrar, the other officials of the court have now set their tables in the porch of the building and are working from there.
The Mirror observed during a visit to the court that those who had cases to be heard also sat in the open at the mercy of the weather waiting for their cases to be called.
When cases were called, both litigants and witnesses moved into the chambers of the magistrate for trial to commence or continue.
A source at the headquarters of the Judicial Service, however, told The Mirror that it was not the responsibility of the judiciary to provide accommodation for courts.
It said it was the duty of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to do so.
The source explained that it was when the MMDAs provided courtrooms, offices for court staff and residence for a presiding magistrate that the judiciary would establish a court to dispense justice.
According to the source, the situation was a sad one because a lot of the districts did not have their own courts, forcing people to move from far to seek justice.
It, however, gave an assurance that the construction of a 34-courtroom complex was ongoing in Accra and when completed, most of the courts would be moved to the new courthouse.
The move, the source said, would make way for some of the courts which operated at chief’s palaces to be moved.
By Deborah Cromwell/The Mirror/Ghana
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