The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has called on the Judicial Service to stop charging the public to use the washrooms at the new Judicial Complex in Accra until it can seek Parliamentary approval to do that.
In a press statement issued in Accra on Thursday, the CPA said it had received several complaints from members of the public who are unhappy to pay to use the washrooms at the Judicial Complex.
The CPA said it has petitioned Chief Justice Georgina Wood in this regard, but had not received any favourable response.
Read the full statement below:
CPA Gives Chief Justice And The Judicial Service 21 Days To Stop Charging The Public On Using Washrooms At The New Court Complex Until They Seek Parliamentary Approval.
The CPA has received several complaints from the general public who visit the new court house for the purpose of which they are there. The thrust of the matter is about charges that the public pay to use the washrooms. One of the bizarre compliant is the one from Mrs. Adwoa Ankobeah a litigant.
According to Mrs. Ankobeah in a complaint which was sent to the CPA, she visited the new court complex as a litigant in a matter before the justices. As she waited for her case to be called, naturally she had to use the washroom at the complex to pass urine.
She was asked to pay 50 pesewes and gladly did since that was not a bother to her. However as a diabetic and a high blood pressure patient on medication, she had to use the washrooms several times. As she walked to the washroom to use it the second time, the attendant asked her to pay again. She showed her the first ticket of an earlier payment and since she has not left the premises she should be allowed to use the initial ticket.
The lady refused so she had to pay again. Then she had to visit the wash room again for the third time and once again the lady insisted that she pay. Had it not been a gentleman that she pleaded for gh1 she would have passed urine on herself because by then she had no money on her apart from what she was going to use for transport home. As a matter of fact, she paid GHC 3 since she visited the washroom 6 times due to my medication and was in the court house from 8.30am till 1pm, which was about 4 hours. “Sir, IS THIS JUSTICE?” She added.
The CPA upon the compliant from Madam Ankobeah and many other Ghanaians, petitioned the Chief Justice for a solution. However the response from the Chief justice and the judicial service was not encouraging since they insisted that there is no way they will do anything about the situation. Upon investigations by the CPA the charges at the new court complex are illegal since the parliament of Ghana which has the only mandate to approve levies on public institutions have not done so. It is therefore very surprising that the judicial service headed by the chief justice who are said to be the custodians in upholding our laws will rather condone in an illegality.
The CPA is therefore giving the Chief Justice and the judicial service 21 days to halt these illegal levies and seek parliamentary approval which will set up the perimeters of the payment of these charges if any or we will have no choice than to seek an injunction from the courts. We will also want the judicial service to know that the court house is a public place where any citizen can visit to listen to cases if they are a party to a case or not.
CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY