A JUSTICE of the High Court, Justice Eric Kyei-Baffour, has admonished Ghanaians and litigants never to pay money to any court official concerning the issues of bail.
According to the judge, the court registrar, the clerk, and the other court officials are all paid to work and therefore any person who demands money before providing service at the court is dabbling in an illegal act.
The comment from the high profile judge, who is the judge sitting on the case in which the former Director General of the National Communication Authority and four are being held for wilfully causing financial loss to the state, said evey transaction at court came with a receipt.
Justice Kyei-Baffour said it was an offence to engage in such conduct, because in the justice delivery system granting bail to an accused person was free.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Public Complaint Procedure of the Justice System’in a judicial outreach programme held at Donkorkrom in the Afram Plain District of the Eastern Region, he said per the 1992 Constitution, “justice emanates from the people; as judges, we are just custodians of the law.”
“If you are asked to pay money for bail, disregard it. Don’t pay money to get bail for any accused person. We are paid at the end of every month, so I don’t go to court to collect money from people.”
The event, which was on the theme, ‘Quality judges delivering quality justice’, was aimed at enlightening the people to come to terms with practices at the court and give them the opportunity to interact with judges.
Justice Kyei-Baffour was in the company of Her Honour Mrs Abena Oppong Adjinz-Doku, a Circuit Court judge, and Justice James Benuyena Benson, the Supervising High Court judge in the Eastern Region.
Among the topics treated were ‘Education on the Criminal Justice System and Public Complaint Procedure in the Judicial Service’;and ‘Child Labour, Identifying Child Labour and Punishment for Offenders under the Labour Act 2003.
The others were ‘ the Role of Lawyers in Criminal and Civil Proceedings’;‘Human Trafficking Act 2005 (Act694) and Criminal Offences Act, 1960’; the ‘Role of the National Commission on Civic Education on Eradication of Child Trafficking Along the Volta Lake’; and ‘Education on the Court Processes and Sentencing Guidelines of the Judicial Service’.