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Five Legal Aid Scheme offices in Brong-Ahafo Region inaugurated

Duayaw – Nkwanta (B/A), June 11, GNA – Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, has appealed to Legal Aid Scheme officers to be diligent and serve the true purpose for their recruitment to promote and sustain fair and equitable application of the law.

He said the Scheme was established to protect and defend the rights of the poor and vulnerable against unfair treatment and abuse.

Mr Adjei was inaugurating Five Legal Aid Scheme Offices for the Brong Ahafo Region at Duayaw Nkwanta on Tuesday.

The offices are Asunafo North Municipality at Goaso, Techiman Municipality at Techiman, Dormaa Central Municipality at Dormaa Ahenkro, Tano North District at Duayaw Nkwanta, and Atebubu-Amantin District at Atebubu.

They were established by Legal Resources Centre (LRC) an NGO working with the Legal Aid Scheme (LAS) and in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Mr Adjei said the Scheme was committed to the provision of effective and efficient legal aid services for the enforcement of the constitution, prosecution and defense of human rights of the poor and vulnerable.

He therefore called on all stakeholders to ensure the sustenance and promotion of the Scheme in the country with the provision of logistics, equipment and other assistance required for their daily administration.

Mr Yahaya Al-Hassan Seini, Director of Legal Aid, said it was established to ensure the elimination of injustice in the country and mainly for the poor and vulnerable to seek legal advice and education on their rights to make informed decision to secure justice.

He said a survey conducted by the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice showed that over 79 percent of the respondents had no knowledge about the Scheme and its operations.

Mr Seini said he was optimistic that the offices in the region would improve public knowledge about its existence and operations.

He commended the Duayaw-Nkwanta Traditional Council for collaborating with government to secure access to justice for the people.

Mr Eric Ankamah Ansah, the President of  the Brong-Ahafo Regional Chapter of the Ghana Bar Association, said the Judiciary was the only independent arm of government and urged all and sundry to help guard the institution.

He said legal cost in terms of money and time deterred most people from seeking justice in the courts and advised the citizenry to seek the free services of the Scheme.

Mr Ansah said the Scheme settles cases successfully through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and advisory support, and cautioned the staff to be conscious of their professional ethics and conduct.

Mrs Jennifer Asuako, a representative of UNDP, said it had supported the establishment of 15 offices nationwide out of which five are in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

She said the UNDP recognized the key role Legal Aid played to ensure the poor and vulnerable in society access legal services, hence the introduction of the Legal Aid Clinics.

Mrs Asuako urged the staff to provide effective and efficient service to their clients despite their social and economic status.

Nana Serwaa Nyarko, Queenmother of Duayaw-Nkwanta Traditional Area, said accessing and seeking justice for the people was key in her administration as a queenmother.

She said the office would help the indigenes to access and seek justice, and promised a parcel of land to the Scheme to establish a permanent office.

Mr Kwame Gyan-Kontoh, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Legal Aid Scheme, called on stakeholders to help the Scheme establish offices nationwide because most people need its services.

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