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A/R: Murder of Otumfuo’s Asamponghene, 8 other cases halted over Jurors’ strike

The case involving the murder of Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s Asamponghene and eight other murder and rape cases being heard at the High Court in Kumasi have come to a standstill due to a strike by jurors in the Ashanti region.

The jurors have once again suspended court duties over the non-payment of their allowances.

In November 2023, they embarked on a similar action for weeks but subsequently resumed work after Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo assured them of her commitment to ensuring their arrears were paid following a meeting with them in Kumasi.

She also assured them of prompt payment of future allowances to avoid similar actions.

However, several months later, the matter has not been fully resolved. The jurors have embarked on another strike over the non-payment of outstanding allowances from August 2023 to May 2024.

The jurors have emphasised the financial strain the delay in the payment of the allowances is causing them. They are appealing to the government to release funds to the judicial service to settle their arrears.

Albert Ackah, the general foreman for the jurors in the Ashanti region, reiterated their call for prompt payment.

“Yes, it is true that we are unable to come to court because of our allowance. Our allowances always delay until we take action before we receive our allowance. This is not good; it is not proper for us to always chase our allowance before we get it.

“Today, we have nine cases and because we couldn’t come due to non-payment of our allowance, the cases couldn’t come on.  So please, I am appealing to the government to release money to the judicial service, so that they can pay their jurors so that they can return to court. Nobody ever should say that it is the jurors who delay the cases.

“So, this small, tiny allowance that we receive here, why always we need to follow, talk until these allowances are received?

The Chief Justice during her meeting with the jurors encouraged them to use their salaries from their respective works to fund their transportation to work, since the majority of them are public sector workers, while they wait for the disbursement of their allowances.

The jurors are, however, expressing displeasure over that statement insisting that the works are distinctively different hence, they want prompt payment of their arrears to fund their transportation to court.

“Most of them were in the jury system before they retired. They are receiving only a retirement package, or better still, their pension salary. They are using this money to upkeep their houses and their homes.”

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