strong>Residents of Aflao in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region have lamented the closure of two courts in the area, describing it as neglect of the country’s busiest border town.
The residents said the closure of the courts, which served a huge population of Aflao and its adjoining communities had brought difficulty in accessing justice.
Madam Sophia A. B. Akuffo, the Chief Justice ordered for the closure of Aflao District Court and Aflao Circuit Court effective March 31, 2019 and further directed that all pending cases at the closed courts be transferred to Keta Circuit Court and Agbozume District Court for continuation.
The Chief Justice’s directive followed an earlier warning in October last year, to close down lower courts that were in deplorable condition and not conducive for justice delivery.
The road to the Aflao Circuit Court at Guta-Akporkploe is in a deplorable state and the structure itself, in a sorry state, while the Aflao District Court, adjacent to the Aflao Police Station has no washroom for the judge and staff.
Mr Foga Nukunu, a resident, told the Ghana News Agency that authorities could have averted the closure of the courthouses and its attendant implications for the less-privileged.
“Our two courts were closed down. Our people will have to travel to Keta and Agbozume to seek justice. This is injustice. A lot of court users have abandoned their cases as they could not afford to travel to Keta and Agbozume to pursue their respective cases.
Those who now have good cases to pursue are unwilling to commence any court action.
“Aflao, we are not angry enough. Jokes apart, the happenings in Aflao are unacceptable. And it seems to me that the authorities do not care a hoot about what is happening to us,” he fumed.
Mr Wisdom K. Diaba, Commander, Denu District Police, said the closure of the courts was impacting negatively on their operation because they spent more on fuel and travelled longer distances to get to courts at Keta and Agbozume.
Mr Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, Municipal Chief Executive for Ketu South, assured that the Assembly was in talks and cooperating with the judiciary to provide another conducive accommodation for the court to resume its work in the Municipality.