Judges Use Adjournments to Delay Cases; Laws Must be Provided to Regulate it– Deputy SP Suggests
Mrs. Cynthia Jane Naa Korshie Lamptey, the Deputy Special Prosecutor nominee has suggested that policy makers should come up with a law to regulate the number of times cases are adjourned in court, which is used to delay cases unduly.
She indicated that, administrators of the law use adjournments to delay cases which otherwise could have been concluded earlier, adding that, it is a very worrying phenomenon since justice delayed is justice denied.
Answering questions from the Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday on May 16, 2018, on what she propose should be done to transform and reform the way prosecutions are carried out in Ghana (As asked by Hon. O. B. Amoah), the nominee indicated there must be a regulation or a law specifying the number of times a case could be adjourned, beyond which a Judge cannot adjourn a case.
“Adjournments are used in delaying cases, and I think there must be a regulation where the number of adjournments is specified, so that during the handling of a case, the judge do not go beyond that”. She suggested.
She further stated that Ghana’s legal system do not have Plea Bargaining in the law, but is done by practice.
She therefore advocates the inclusion of this in our laws in order to shorten the periods used in handling cases, and may also save clients paying more money, since each time lawyers go to Court, clients pay their transport.
Plea Bargaining is the negotiation of an agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant is permitted to plead guilty to a reduced charge.
She further advised the public to desist from putting pressure on public office holders for favors, since it would land them into trouble.
It is usually the case that, Ghanaians tend to demand favours from public office holders who are one way or the other acquaintance with them, a case which in most cases amount to conflict of interest; and this practice, according to Mrs. Naa Koshie Lamptey, would land them in trouble with the coming in place of the Special Prosecutor.
She said “don’t walk the corridors of power; it may land them in trouble”.
The nominee further revealed that, she has not yet resigned her current post when asked whether she has resigned her post, pursuant to the dictates of the law, adding that “I will only resign when I am approved”.
She also indicated that fighting corruption is a herculean task, especially given that it is deep rooted in the Ghanaian society, but was confident that the coming in place of the Special Prosecutor’s office will help curb and significantly reduce it.
As member of the Committee, Hon. Nii Lantey Vanderpuye also asked why the Commission of Enquiries cases are not prosecuted, but the nominee disclosed that in such cases, the government only raises White Papers on the recommendations of those Commissions of Enquiries, refusing to forward a docket of the particular case for prosecution, adding that “the system doesn’t end with the Attorney General’s Department”.
According to the nominee, for the Special Prosecutor’s office to function well and appropriately, it needs to be resourced with competent personnel and logistics required for investigations and other duties.
She further promised to be a good assistant and team player to the Special Prosecutor, and also offer the office all her vast knowledge and competences to ensure that the office succeeds, as well as expectations of the whole country is met.
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