Supreme Court judge, Justice Jones Victor Dotse has served notice of punitive action against trial judges who abuse fundamental human rights of individuals by unjustifiably remanding suspects brought before them.
The Supreme Court judge who says the surge in remand cases in our prisons is disturbing and is recommending to the Chief Justice refresher programs for such judges.
He was speaking to journalists after four remand prisoners were discharged unconditionally as part of the Justice For All Program (JFAP) at Akuse in the Eastern Region.
The Justice For All Program is an intervention to speed up the process of justice delivery for remand prisoners crammed in Ghana's congested prisons.
At the sitting at the Akuse prisons, four people were unconditionally discharged, 25 remand prisoners granted bail and one person convicted after pleading guilty to charges possessing of narcotic drugs.
Justice Clemence Honyenuga, an appeal court judge responsible for the Justice For All Program says remand cases which stood at 33 percent of prison cases have dropped to 12 percent since the introduction of the JFAP.
The Supreme Court on the 5th of May, 2016, by a 5-2 majority decision struck out from Ghana's statute books non-bailable offences.
The Court described the law, which has been in existence for nearly three decades, as unconstitutional.
The decision of the apex court automatically granted trial courts and judges the authority to grant bail to accused persons in cases such as murder, rape, treason, piracy, defilement among others.
The Supreme Court made the ruling in a case titled Martin Kpebu verses the Attorney General filed in February, 2015. Section 96 (7) of Ghana’s Criminal Code was the law overturned by the decision of the Supreme Court.
Addressing the press after representing the Chief Justice at Justice Jones Dotse says statistics emerging from the JFA sittings, appears trial courts are remanding one too many accused persons unjustifiably.
Meanwhile, some beneficiaries of the program expressed remorse and vowed never to go against the law anymore.
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