Judges and magistrates in Ghana say the country’s court premises should be declared flashpoints and given maximum security protection at all times.
The judges and other judicial workers who say they feel threatened by Thursday’s violent attack on a Circuit Court in Kumasi, premised their call on the fact that “criminal trials [at the courts] have the potential of emitting violence” At a news conference in Accra Friday, they said the attack on the Circuit Court by the pro-New Patriotic Party vigilante group, Delta Force, which led to the escape of 13 members of the group, is a threat and intimidation to members of the judiciary.
Condemning the violent act, the judges and their workers wondered how a group of persons could enter a courtroom to free accused persons being prosecuted, describing that as unacceptable. “We call on the government, particularly the Police hierarchy, as a matter of urgency, to take all necessary steps to allay the worries, fears and anxiety of all judges and magistrates in the region,” the judges and the entire judicial staff said.
Meanwhile, the judges who form the Association of Magistrates and Judges and their workers who come under the Judicial Services Staff Association of Ghana, have asked their members in Kumasi who feel threatened to report to the Police for the necessary action to be taken.
They have advised the police “not to fall in their threat assessment of cases” that come before the various courts, and consequently want courts considered a flashpoint at all times. The judges said they would push and ensure that they are given security across the country.
“We assure you that we are in discussions with the leadership of the Judicial Service towards providing maximum security to all the courts,” they said.