Litigants asked to pay for local Judicial Committee sittings

Mr Peter Kwadwo Owuadzi Mensah, a legal practitioner, has suggested the need for litigants to bear the cost of appearing before the Judicial Committee sittings of the Regional Houses of Chiefs.

Addressing a workshop for members of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs on the new Chieftaincy Act, (Act 759 of 2008) and the district level elections in Ho, he said chiefs must take a clue from the initiative adopted by the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs.

Mr Mensah who is Counsel for the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs who spoke on “the tenets Act 759”, said litigants in chieftaincy disputes ought to pay for the cost of litigation in line with the hiring of counsels to represent them in the high courts and other superior courts in such matters.

He said such litigants should make down payments on filing their cases as applicants and respondents.

Mr Mensah said such payments would finance the cost of transportation, boarding and lodging and other charges involved when members of the judicial committees sit on such cases.

He said it was untenable for members of the judicial committees and the government to bear the burden of other people’s litigation.

Mr Mensah observed that such a measure would help minimise chieftaincy litigation especially those that are frivolous.

He said since the Act came into force for the past year, it had not posed any major problem except for the sections that had to do with the list of chiefs in every region and the supervisory role of the high courts.

Mr Mensah said Act 759 had removed all traces of governmental control in chieftaincy matters.

He however warned that governments could use subterfuge to sneak their influence into the institution unless chiefs were firm and able to handle such situations.

A major issue raised by the some of the chiefs was the contradictions in the sections on arbitration.

Source: GNA

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