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General News of Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

CJ apologizes to judges facing eviction over cathedral project

The judges set to be relocated from their Ridge Roundabout residences in Accra, to make way for the construction of the 5,000-seater National Cathedral may not have been given ample notice.

A letter from the acting Chief Justice at the time, Justice Julius Ansah, apologized to the judges in this regard.

The letter, which has been sighted by Citi News, said the judges were not provided with “timely written notification to relocate.” As far back as April 5, plans were in the works for the project that would lead to the relocation of the judges.

President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2017 cut the sod for the construction of a National Cathedral to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship center for the country.

But the relocation of the judges was only confirmed in writing on July 24, in a letter from the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.

Justice Julius Ansah admitted that this was not proper.

“Although I admit that since the agreement in principle had been reached, it would have been proper to give you a hint at least.”

Judges to get permanent abode in 2020

In the long term, the government is constructing new residences for judges at Cantonments.

“The government has committed to construct 21 new bungalows on the second Circular road, Cantonment, to replace the old ones affected by the project. Construction of the new bungalow is expected to be completed and handed over to the Service by January 2020.”

In the meantime, the judges have been provided with “temporary residential buildings.”

Financiers of the cathedral will pay the temporary accommodation for the judicial staff including judges residing along the area earmarked for the national cathedral project.

The affected judges are; Justice F. Kusi Appiah, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson, Justice Magaret Welbourne, Justice Saeed Kwaku Gyan, Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, Justice Gbiel S. Suurbareh and Justice Anthony Oppong.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has reportedly been petitioned to reconsider the plan to relocate the judges.