Lawyers in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi have been directed to stay home as they not part of the category of critical staff exempted from the two-week partial lockdown which begun in parts of the country.
Although President Nana Akufo-Addo in announcing the lockdown mentioned the judiciary is exempted, the Chief Justice in a new directive Monday said lawyers are to observe the lockdown.
“The restrictions imposed on the citizenry of Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi affect all lawyers and litigants and for other court users since these categories of persons were not exempted” Chief Justice Anin Yeboah said in a statement on Monday.
Accordingly, the CJ has asked registrars of courts in those areas to adjourn all cases listed during this period to dates in May and June 2020.
In a bid to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus which has so far affected 152 people in Ghana from spreading, government announced a partial lockdown to minimize movement of people.
People have been advised to stay home during the period unless it becomes necessary for them to access essential services.
The lockdown breaches could attract a four-year jail term and or 12,000 cedis if found guilty.
The CJ in the statement said 28 courts in Kumasi and Accra have been designated to deal with critical cases which may arise from the restriction orders and other criminal matters.
It said registrars, cashiers, court clerks, interpreters, recorders and bailiffs have already been asked to report for duty offer support to the designated courts, adding “all other staff will be required to apply for their leave during the period of the restriction”.
However, the statement said “The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are available to handle urgent cases as may be determined by the Chief Justice during this period”.