Jury trials are set to resume at the High Court in Kumasi on Monday (20 November), after jurors who had embarked on a week-long strike to protest the non-payment of their allowances called it off.
This follows the intervention of Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo who summoned a meeting with the court officers Friday morning.
The jurors declared a strike to push the government to settle their several months’ outstanding allowances, citing financial strain, especially on pensioners relying on pension funds for transportation.
Legal proceedings, including murder cases, halted in the Ashanti Region since November, creating a backlog due to the absence of jurors.
The CJ however questioned the actions of the court officers describing their decision as “unfair”. She expressed a strong commitment to ensuring all their concerns are addressed promptly.
“There is a question I have been asking myself. You are receiving your salaries; Ghana is paying you. I want to plead with you to appreciate the burden on Mother Ghana. Whichever institution you are working in Ghana is paying you for working there but you are not going there. Then Ghana will give you more money for coming here and you say you won’t come here because you have that one, but you haven’t received this one. I put it to you that this is not fair”.
“Certain jurors are indeed working in more than one court and I don’t even know how that should happen in the first place because the juror system is not meant to be a standard but allowances in the public sector come late and we need to take steps to ensure it does not overly delay. Come to work on Monday and I am going to ensure that your allowances are paid in November and also ensure that the allowances stop delaying”, she further added.
The general foreman for the jurors in the Ashanti region, Albert Ackah assured that they will return to the courts on Monday to perform their duties.
“We met the Chief Justice and she asked us to come to work on Monday and we have agreed to return and as she promised, she said she is going to ensure that our allowances stop coming late and that is what we have been expecting all along and we are grateful and so we are returning to the court to perform the duties that the state has assigned us to perform”, he said.
SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH