A Former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Kojo Bonsu, has called on the government to resource the Legal Aid Commission (LAC) and as a matter of priority to make its services readily accessible to the public.
“This is necessary to ensure justice for all and also avert the possibility of incarcerating innocent people who are wrongfully accused of crimes they did not commit.
“We all know that justice requires a committed counsel on one’s side and this does not come cheap,” said Mr Bonsu.
The former KMA boss said these when he visited the Ho Female Prison last Thursday where he donated two maxi bags of rice, a consignment of detergents, toothpaste, toilet rolls, 50 bags of sachet water and sanitary pads to the inmates.
Mr Bonsu pointed out that convicts only lost their rights to their personal freedom, but not their right to personal dignity.
Apart from that, he said some convicts educated themselves and acquired skills behind bars and came out of jail reformed to make meaningful contributions to national development.
For that matter, he said, it was proper for corporate bodies, religious and other identifiable groups and public-spirited individuals to support the welfare of prisoners in various ways.
On her part, CSP Janet Asabea, Chief Superintendent of Prisons and Officer-in-Charge of the Ho Female Prison, expressed gratitude for the items, and said that the gesture by Mr Bonsu was highly touching.
“This is the kind of support we need to take care of the convicts since the resources we have are limited,” she added.
She said that the prison also needed support in its skills training programmes to facilitate the re-integration of convicts into society, after they finished serving their time.
CSP Asabea conceded that people could get wrongly accused and wrongly convicted as well adding that prisoners should not be discriminated against by other members of the society.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO