July 20, 2024

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has paid glowing tribute to the Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, for his outstanding role in spearheading the completion of The Law House.

President Akufo-Addo was full of praise for the A-G for ensuring the completion of the project he initiated when he was the A-G, under the erstwhile Kufuor administration.

Speaking at the event to commission the office on Monday, June 10, 2024 President Akufo-Addo said Godfred Dame took office in 2021, when the project was 36% complete.

The President took the opportunity to commend the A-G for his dedication and perseverance in bringing the project to completion, adding that he had done a yeoman’s job.

“His efforts ensured that this initiative, which could have easily ended as another abandoned government project, was implemented to become the magnificent structure we celebrate today. Ayekoo to the Attorney General,” President Akufo-Addo said.

THE LAW HOUSE

The works, including preparation of drawings, preparation of contract documents and obtaining of relevant permits and statutory approvals, commenced in 2001 during the tenure of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. The project site was handed over to the contractor on July 23, 2001.

The official sod cutting was done on July 15, 2005, when Ayikoi Otoo was the A-G and completion date was October, 2008, but that could not materialise.

After the first contractor, Energo Projekt terminated the contract over a condition it said it was not comfortable with, the A-G sought approval from the public Procurement Authority and the outstanding works was re-awarded to Messrs. Mustek Engineering Limited.

COMPONENTS

At the initiation stage, the project was planned to be an 8-storey office facility but was subsequently revised to a 10-storey structure with two-level basements.

It also has several offices to house the head office of the entire ministry and convenient parking spaces for vehicles in the two-tier basements.

There are offices for state attorneys, a vast conference room, a canteen, two libraries, rooms for pupils, interns, and researchers, kitchenettes and a big space on the 10th floor for parties.

The Attorney-General’s facilities include a conference room that can seat about 30 people, while there are two specific suites for two deputy Attorney-General, including a study and a room for their own personal assistants.

The Law House is located near the High Court Complex, at ministries, Accra.

“Today is a day of great pride and accomplishment,” he declared. “This building stands as a testament to our government’s commitment to addressing the long-standing office accommodation challenges faced by the Attorney-General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice,” the President said.

STRIDES

In his address, the President said that throughout his tenure, his administration has made significant strides in strengthening the rule of law in Ghana, adding that the commissioning of the Law House is a key milestone in this ongoing effort.

He said that the completion of the Law House is part of a larger vision to modernise and digitize Ghana’s legal and judicial systems.

In addition to improving judicial infrastructure, the Akufo-Addo administration has prioritized the safety and security of judges.

Since assuming office in 2017, the government has constructed numerous courthouses and residential facilities for judges across the country.

He said that by February 2024, 79 new courthouses had been inaugurated, with 21 more projects at various stages of completion.

LEGAL SERVICE

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, said in his address that towards realising the dream of a modern public legal service, the era where regional offices of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice and other agencies of the Ministry perch in the corner of buildings belonging to other government institutions or are sometimes thrown out of premises in which they are licensees should be over soon.

“I am of the respectful view that every regional office of the Ministry of Justice ought to own at least a three-storey office. I have commenced discussions in this regard with the World Bank towards the possibility of a funding of this project,” he added.

SIGNPOST

He indicated that a well-oiled Attorney General’s Department is the biggest signpost for improved conditions in the practice of law.

He added that the industry of state attorneys must be properly complemented with a supply of resources needed to assist in the discharge of their functions.

“It is my hope that today marks the beginning of the realisation of the quest to set up an efficient modern public legal service.

May the Law House live up to its purpose of being the symbol for excellence in legal service and a catalyst for an enhanced role of the Office of the Attorney-General in the affairs of the state,” he said.

COMMENDATION

The Chief Justice, Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, commended the government for the edifice and advocated its replication across the country.

The President of the Ghana Bar Association, Yaw Boafo, also commended the government for allocating funds for such a project.

However, he bemoaned the poor state of infrastructure in the office of the A-G across the country and called for improvement.

 

See also  Afenyo-Markin vs Jinapor: The ‘dirty’ verbal fight in parliament between two good friends

Leave a Reply