57 remand prisoners to be freed on bail
This would be after they have satisfied conditions set by the Court.
The decision followed five days of sitting at the Kumasi Central Prison by a Kumasi Circuit and High Court under the “Free Justice for All” programme.
The programme is a collaborative effort by the National Centre for International Law and Justice, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, Judiciary, Prison Service and the Police to decongest the prisons.
In all, 244 cases were heard by the two courts with Mr Justice Mahamadu Iddrisu presiding over the High Court and Mr Justice Richard Mac Kogyapwah, on the Circuit Court.
Cases that came up ranged from murder, robbery, rape, and possession of fire arms to threat of death.
Mr Justice Iddrisu, concluding the five-day session, underlined the need for all the stakeholders to work together to ensure the success of the programme.
He was particularly not happy about the seeming uncooperative attitude of investigators and prosecutors to the “Free Justice for All” initiative as case dockets that could have aided the judges in their rulings were unavailable.
He said making decisions based on what the accused persons told the court might not augur well for justice.
Justice Iddrisu said there could also be injustice to the accused when for instance, investigators or prosecutors were on transfer and the accused simply forgotten in the prison.
Mr William Kpobi, a Chief State Attorney, asked organizers of the programme to consult the police and courts after talking to the prisoners so that all the relevant information concerning their cases could be gathered.
Mrs Lizzy-Pearl Addison, a Kumasi-based lawyer, described the programme as a success and said it must be sustained.
Mr Kofi Abotsi, a law lecturer of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and the Coordinator of the Programme, thanked the stakeholders for their support.