The Chief Justice, has appealed to Traditional Authorities to enact strong by-laws that state clearly real owners of lands under their jurisdiction, be it stool land, family land or tribe land to reduce the number of land-related litigations at the various law courts in the country.
Gertrude Araba Essaba Sackey Torkonoo, explained that lack of proper documentation of lands, was making the determination of the real owners of lands under dispute extremely difficult to handle, adding that land litigations were driving potential investors away from Ghana.
Justice Torkonoo, hinted that plans were far advanced for her outfit to digitalise all lands in the country to attract investors as being done in other countries across the globe.
The Chief Justice said this, last Thursday, as she paid a courtesy call on the Omanhene of the Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area Obrempong Nyanful Krampah XI and his Divisional Chiefs at Gomoa Ajumako in the Central Region.
The visit was to show her appreciation to Nananom for their unflinching support in the wake of her appointment as the Chief Justice.
She noted that, the digitalization would direct investors to real land owners.
The Chief Justice, further appealed to Traditional Authorities to support the Judicial Service to carry out its assigned duties which would enhance peaceful coexistence among the citizenry noting that her outfit needs such support to remove all controversial land litigation cases at the law courts.
She reminded Ghanaians that the Judicial Service has no political colour or affiliation, and so are Judges.
“We should not take legal issues for granted, because that is exactly what is bleeding high levels of disputes in the country especially in the Chieftaincy institution,” the Chief Justice noted.
According to Justice Torkonoo, the visit was her maiden official visit to introduce herself to Nananom who happens to be custodians of the lands in the country.
“I came today purposely to express my appreciation to Obrempong Nyanful Krampah XI and his Nananom for the numerous support given me before, during and after my appointment as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana”.
“It is not out of place to visit my Omanhene before visiting other Traditional Councils across the country. I need their prayers and support to enable me to achieve the task ahead of me,” she stated.
The Omanhene of Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area who doubles as the President of the Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Council and immediate Past President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, in his welcome address, thanked the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, for the confidence reposed in Justice Torkornoo.
“Gomoa Ajumako Nananom will remain grateful to President Akufo-Addo for the honour done for a daughter of our land thus raising the image of Gomoa globally.”
“I also congratulate Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Araba Essaba Sackey Torkonoo for her new position as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, we are proud of you,” he stated.
Obrempong Nyanful Krampah XI, also bemoaned ad-hoc decisions by some lawyers telling their clients not to respect summons to appear before Traditional Authorities over cases that ought to be settled by Nananom at their palace.
He, therefore, advocated for the introduction of the Chieftaincy institution as a subject of study at Ghana School of Law so as to enable potential lawyers to be abreast with laws and regulations governing the Chieftaincy institution in the country to help eliminate conflicts.
The Omanhene appealed to the Chief Justice to set up a monitoring and supervision team to monitor activities that go on at the various law courts due to the bad nuts in the system.
“This will put trust in litigants who troop to the courts to seek legal services or interpretation of issues bothering them”.
“I also want to appeal to you to regulate all the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) centers dotted across the country without authorization to wipe out the fake ones”.
Obrempong Nyanful Krampah XI, again appealed to the Chief Justice to consider restoring Chieftaincy Act 759 2 A Section 63 D which has been struck out, should be modified and restored to strengthen the Chieftaincy institution.
He described as sad how the constitution is being manipulated to weaken the mandate of Nananom and the Chieftaincy institution. Minor cases that are Chieftaincy related must be brought before Nananom for an amicable solution.
“Finally, I want to encourage Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Araba Essaba Sackey Torkonoo and the Judicial Service to protect the Chieftaincy institution to enhance development and improvement in the lives of the people.”
“We will continue to support her to achieve her vision for the Republic of Ghana and her name will be written in gold in the history of the Judicial Service,” he stressed.