The Attorney-General’s (AGs) Department requires in excess of 600 State Attorneys nationwide to effectively deliver on its mandate, Ms Gloria Akufo, the Attorney-General (AG) and Minister of Justice has said.
Currently, she said, the Department was only working with about half of the figure, which according to her was not a good situation for the Department that works to entrench the rule of law and human rights.
Ms Akufo said this while interacting with staff of the Department including; the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and Legal Aid in Wa as part of her maiden visit to the Upper West Region.
She noted therefore that since she took over office last year, she had been pushing for clearance from the Ministry of Finance to recruit more staff to keep the Department moving.
The Minister added that even though it was tough, the green light had been given for the recruitment of 50 staff, stressing that the needs of the Departments and Agencies under the Ministry would be seriously considered when the recruitment was done.
Ms Akufo said she also placed an application to the National Service Secretariat (NSS) as a buffer that all newly enrolled lawyers who would not have performed their national service at the time of call, should be assigned to the office of the AG.
On the purpose of her visit to the Upper West Region, the Justice Minister said it was for her to learn at first hand the challenges confronting staff of the Department across the regions.
She said since she took over office, she learned in her interaction with some of the challenges including accommodation, office and residential accommodation, vehicles and issues of remuneration came up, adding that her visit to the region confirmed those challenges.
Ms Akufo said even though they had limited budget, they would try to solve some of the challenges especially renovation of residential and office accommodation and procurement of vehicles.
Mr Saeed Abdul Shaqur, a Senior State Attorney at the AGs Department in the Upper West Region commended Ms Akufo for being the first AG to visit the region in over two decades to interact with staff and find out their challenges and pledged staff support to her to enable her deliver her vision to improve the Department.
Ms Akufo was accompanied by Mrs Helen Ziwu, the Solicitor General, Mrs. Yvonne Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecution and Mr Suleman Ahmed, Chief Director at the Office of the AG and Ministry of Justice.
The AG Department exist by law to promote social justice to facilitate the operations of a fair, efficient and transparent legal system and to propagate a culture of due process and legality.
The Ministry also acts as the defender of Ghana’s constitutional order, the guarantor of the rights and liberties of the citizens, the protector of the state legal interest, the enforcer of the criminal laws, the facilitator of the human resources of the legal sector and the championing of the rule of law.