General News Mon, 7 Jun 2010

Constitution must cover courts of traditional rulers

Saltpond (C/R), June 7, GNA - The Constitution Review Commission (CRC) has been urged to let the Constitution capture the Judicial Committees of the Traditional Councils and the Arbitration Committees of local chiefs to facilitate the early delivery of justice in the country. Chiefs of Nkusukum Traditional Area of the Mfantseman Municipal Assembly, led by Nana Baah VII Mankrado, made the presentation at the district level consultations by the Commission at Saltpong Nana Baah argued that if that was done it would go a long way to reduce cases piled up at the judicial courts and ensure speedy delivery of justice. Nana Kweenu said it would enhance respect for chiefs as less respect was given to cases before the local courts. He said the Constitution must make it po ssible for appeal at the high Judicial Courts to be made on cases tried by the chiefs. Nana Kwa Bonko, Ankobeahen of the Area, urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to abide by the clause in the Constitution which enjoined the 30 per cent of their membership to be appointed by government in consultation with chiefs.

He expressed disappointment that such appointments were given to party members without recourse to chiefs.

Mr Henry Kweku Hayfron, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), suggested to the Commission to make it possible for Private Members' Bill to be discussed at Parliament since wisdom could not be tapped from few people's heads. He said the acceptance of Private Member motions would enhance the country's democratic dispensation. The MCE called for a ceiling to be placed on the appointment of Supreme Court Judges to remove government's influence on the judiciary. The participants called for the abolition of the appointment of Members of Parliament as Ministers of State, since that was retrogressing the work of Parliament. They also called for the payment of ex-gratia to Assembly members from the consolidated fund. Mr Kobina Ortsen Acheampong, a researcher, led the discussions on behalf of the team leader, Mr Clement Akakpame.

Source: GNA