The Police in the North East region have indicated that the lack of a circuit court in the region is affecting the justice delivery system in the area.
The North East Region has a district magistrate court which does not have the jurisdiction to handle cases like murder , robbery , drug related cases among others and for that matter police are compelled to transport suspects from the North East to the Northern region for trial at the circuit or high court.
The North East Regional Police Crime Officer, Supt. Reuben Yao Dugah, told DGN Online that the lack of a circuit or high court in the region puts their personnel and suspects at risk traveling from Nalerigu to Tamale to prosecute criminal cases.
“ this is a huge challenge because fueling of the vehicle is expensive and you can imagine the number of times we need to send suspects to Tamale back and forth for prosecution until the case is over and also escorting harden criminals like armed robbers comes with risk traveling for hours to Tamale.”
He stated that the lack of a circuit or high court in the region slows down the justice system, adding that the district magistrate court in the regional capital only sits for cases once a week because the court does not have a resident judge.
“ the judge in charge of Nalerigu also sits for cases in Walewale and so he travels for a long distance from Walewale to Nalerigu so that is the issue we have here and that affects the delivery system which ends up delaying the rate at which the case should be travel and instead of going faster we are rather going at a very slow pace.”
Supt Dugah indicated that the region do register serious crime related cases such as robbery , murder among others and for that matter there is a need for a circuit court in the region to fast track the prosecution processes.
“We do not have an Attorney General’s office in the region here and so we will have to vary these sockets to Tamale for the Attorney General’s office for advise then we now prepare and go back to Tamale again for the trial which delays the entire process.”
He appealed to government and the office of the Chief Justice of Ghana to establish a circuit court in the North East region to enhance the justice delivery system in the area.
The Nalerigu Magistrate court is one of the oldest court in the region which has not seen any renovation since its establishment.
A visit by DGN Online to the court revealed the dilapidated nature of the court with cracks all over the wall as well as the ceilings peeling off.