General News of Wednesday, 11 March 2015
A horrifying Joy News documentary highlighting dehumanizing conditions in the prison is forcing the Chief Justice (CJ) into action.
In a heart-breaking twist, a remand prisoner after featuring in the documentary titled “locked and forgotten” died a few weeks later.
The body of 45-year-old Paul Sarkodie was ravaged and paralyzed by sores, a consequence of the dehumanizing prison conditions.
He was in pain and screamed anytime anyone touched his body. Accused of murdering his brother, paralysed Paul was on remand without any meaningful trial for more than a year.
He was carted to court from the Sunyani prison every two weeks only for the case to be adjourned. His death is a product of a broken justice and sentencing system in Ghana.
Paul and several others in prison do not receive any medical treatment because, according to Chief Public relations officer of the Ghana Prisons Service, DSP Vitalis Aiyeh, doctors refuse posting to the Service.
In a dramatic response, Chief Justice Georgina Wood summoned some 40 judges in a two-hour meeting to watch the documentary.
She has promised swift action in dealing with the remand situation. Chairman of the Justice For All program and court of appeal judge, Clement Honyenuga, revealed that the judges will be sent to either the Nsawam or Akuse prisons to see the plight of the victims of delayed justice ‘first hand’.
The Chief Justice has directed that judges work overtime to remand cases, Mr Honyenuga revealed, adding that the judges will tour the prisons monthly to clear the backlog of cases.