Ms. Esther Ahulu, Programmes Manager of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), says the full deployment of Case Tracking System (CTS) will be a gamechanger for safeguarding the rights of persons on remand with expired warrants.
She said the integrated software that tracked criminal cases in the justice delivery system from inception to disposition would address lapses in the system.
“Sometimes, the prosecutor on the case may have been transferred, ill or off the scene for a long time or may have passed on. But because we are dealing with this paper and manual work, if you don’t have police who hands over properly, then the suspect gets lost in the system” she said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.
Ms Ahulu said it was illegal for the rights to speedy trial, work, and movement, of any person to be denied when the warrant that granted the authority of such a person to be detained for a period had expired.
She, therefore, called on the Government to fast-track the implementation of the CTS launched in 2018 to mitigate crowding in prisons across the country.
She was reacting to the findings of the Auditor-General where an audit sample conducted by the Auditor General in 2021 revealed that the warrants of 125 persons remanded at the Male section of Nsawam Medium Security Prisons had expired.
This contrasted Instruction No. 171 of the Ghana Police Service Instructions, 2018, which requires expired commitment warrants of short sentences prisoners to be endorsed by station officers and be forwarded to the Director General of Prisons for expired warrants to be returned to the Courts, which issued them.
The Auditor General in its 2021 report has, therefore, recommended a liaison between the Director-General of Prisons and the Ghana Police Service to see to the renewal of expired warrant or expedite action on such cases for final judgement.