The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, has challenged police prosecutors to be fair and professional in the discharge of their duties during this election year.
“As the country prepares for an election in November, conflicts, differences and misunderstandings among contending parties are likely to arise, leading to possible arrests and prosecutions.
“Your success will be defined, among other important criteria, by your capacity for integrity, diligent preparation, fairness and your ability to further the cause of justice,” she charged.
Mrs Wood said this in Accra yesterday, at the opening of a four-week training session for some 300 police prosecutors from across the country.
The training is aimed at sharpening and upgrading their skills and knowledge, and also helping them to improve their relationship with the citizenry and other key stakeholders in the criminal justice system, including the office of the Attorney-General and the Judiciary.
It was organised by the LADA Institute, a non-governmental organisation based in Accra, with a grant from the U.S government through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
Mrs Wood noted that effective police prosecution formed a critical part of justice delivery, the maintenance of law and order and the peace and stability of the country, stressing that the prosecutor’s main task was to pursue and do justice to all.
She said a community’s perception of its local police department was influenced by many variables, one of them being the efficiency with which prosecutions were handled.
Mrs Wood said, “Everyday, a great number of police prosecutors, throughout the length and breadth of this country, perform honourable and conscientious police work, but irreparable damage may be done to the entire profession from even one remote story of police misconduct or knowledge and skill insufficiency.
“How our various communities perceive law enforcement depends, among other things, on the performance of each individual police prosecutor. Building and maintaining public or community trust is the hallmark of effective policing,” she advised.
Mrs Wood urged the participants to take the training sessions serious and not allow the huge investments in them to go waste, adding that, they must implement all that they would be taught during the training for the advancement of justice in the country.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Edward Tabiri, Director-General in-charge of Legal and Prosecution, expressed appreciation to LADA Institute and INL for organising the training session for police prosecutors and reiterated their commitment to prosecute those who go contrary to the law.
Mrs Christine Dowuona Hammond, a board member of LADA Group of Companies, the mother company of LADA Institute said the training programme would include classroom lectures, mock trials, court visits and practical exercises.
According to her, plans had been made to provide training for all the remaining police prosecutors in 2017 to ensure all police prosecutors in the country are well grounded.
Mrs Hammond said a training guide and a prosecutors’ manual had been developed to facilitate the work of the prosecutors and also ensure the sustainability of the training programme.
By Joseph Edu Archison