By Gifty Arthur
One of the legacies of the late President, John Evans Atta Mills, continued by the current President, John Dramani Mahama, to replace the popular Cocoa Affairs Court in Accra, is nearing completion.
It is a modern structure that would provide a more comfortable premise for lawyers and judges to adjudicate cases and many others.
The 34-Courtroom court complex, built to replace the dilapidated Cocoa Affairs Court and also provide space for other supporting staff, when completed, will transform the face of the court system in the country, presenting it as a modern institution ready to meet the complexities of the Information and Technology (IT) age.
It was expected to be completed in two and half years, and estimated at US$50 million.
The project is being financed by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and executed by China Hualong Construction Limited.
The project, located on the defunct Victoriaborg Press, close to Cocoa Affairs Court on the Accra High Street, was designed by Avangarde Design Services.
The facility which is also opposite, the Headquarters of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), off the 28 February Road, is attracting everyone’s attention in the area.
A visit to the project site on Tuesday, revealed many people admiring the impressive edifice.
The late Prof. Mills, together with the Chief Justice, Justice Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood and then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni and Martin Amidu, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, on Tuesday, October 4, 2011,cut-sod for work to start on the project.
Three years on, the building has taken shape and even though authorities will not want to speak on the facility as they explained that they don’t have the authority to do so; unconfirmed report says the project is about 80 percent complete.
It was said that when completed, the occasional media reports that cases are conducted under trees at the Cocoa Affairs Court, would be a thing of the past, as the facility has enough space to contain everyone.
Aside the many courtrooms, the facility as observed by this reporter, have space for clinic, banks and mini prison etc.
The five-storey building, has it lifts fixed, electricity connected, doors, locks and keys also fixed and floors tiled. It also has a very spacious compound for the parking of vehicles.
The Judicial Service, has an oversight responsibility over the project.
The Chinese contractors, this paper learnt, have sub-contracted a lot of Ghanaian contractors, who were spotted on the premises busily working to beat deadline.
Government officials, periodically visit the site to access the project, and are said to be very enthused about the progress of work so far.