HO (2015) – Only 1 Remand Prisoner unable to regain Freedom - Justice For All Programme Clarifies

HO (2015) – Only 1 Remand Prisoner unable to regain Freedom - Justice For All Programme Clarifies

Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga

The Chairman of the Justice for All Program, Justice Clemence Honyenuga says only one remand prisoner is still in the Ho Central prison despite being a beneficiary of the program meant to fast track justice.

He dismissed reports that several others are still in the Ho prison even though the program had granted them bail.

Deputy Director of Prisons in charge of the Ho facility Victor Agbelengor had told Joynews there are still some remand prisoners granted bail in May but are still locked up because they could not meet the bail conditions.

Explaining the situation, Justice Clemence Honyenuga clarified that only Abubakari Seidu was still in prison because he has not been able to get one surety as directed by the judges.

He said Abubakri was charged with murder and has been granted bail with the sum of ₵5,000.

During his hearing when the Justice For All Program visited the prison, Abubakari was directed to report to the police weekly after he regained partial freedom.

“He has been unable to get anybody to stand surety for him” Justice Clemence Honyenuga who is also an appeal court judge he explained.

The Justice For All Program is an intervention to provide remand prisoners access to justice.

It is intended to decongest the prisons and also to free inmates who should not be in prison.

The Program toured prisons across the country to embark on a decongestion exercise after a Joy News documentary by Seth Kwame Boateng revealed appalling conditions of remand prisoners.

The programme was initiated by the Chief Justice in collaboration with the AttorneyGeneral and Minister of Justice to ensure that justice is provided for every citizen, irrespective of one's background and also to help decongest the prisons.

In all, 71 cases were heard at the Ho Central Prison, with 26 applicants cautioned and discharged.

They were also made to sign a bond to be of good behaviour.

Twenty four prisoners were granted bail, while 21 others were refused bail.

The accused persons had been in prison custody between six months and four years for various crimes, including murder, rape, fraud and illegal possession of drugs.

During the hearings, the charge sheets were amended and bail conditions reviewed to softer terms for the accused persons.

The Ho Central Prisons was originally built to accommodate 160 inmates but it ended up inhabiting 451 inmates thus stretching the facilities in the prisons.

The Ho Prison, established in 1948, was one of the four Prisons in the then Togoland Territory under United Kingdom Trusteeship and was treated as an integral part of the Prisons system of the then Gold Coast.

Reference: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2015/august-2nd/only-one-remandprisoner-unable-to-regain-freedom-justice-for-all-program-clarifies.php

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