By Fatima Anafu-Astanga
Bolgatanga, March 14, GNA – The Legal Aid Scheme in the Upper East Region has appealed to the Government to extend its offices to cover all the 13 districts in the Region and employ more mediation officers to help speed up resolution of cases at the courts.
The scheme presently has offices in only the Bawku West District, Bawku and Bolgatanga Municipalities.
Mr Richard Adazabra, a Lawyer at the Legal Aid Scheme in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the Scheme in the Upper East Region was using mostly the Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve majority of the civil cases in court.
The cases included child maintenance, paternity, marital, land matters and illegal dismissal of poor employers among others.
He said the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) had been used to successfully resolve majority of the civil cases registered at the courts.
He said huge number of cases registered had been waiting at the doorsteps of the Legal Aid Scheme over the years until the ADR was used to resolve many of them.
He said increasing cases of widows who had issues regarding family properties especially land were seen often and the Alternative Dispute Resolution and Legal Aid were working together to handle them as they came in.
Mr Adazabra said there were increasing cases of defilement being reported.
He said 170 civil and criminal cases were registered in 2017 by the Scheme and out of that number, 58 were criminal cases registered in Zebilla in the Bawku West District, while 56 were civil cases.
At the Bolgatanga District Court, a total of 76 civil cases were also registered and out of the number 18 were criminal whilst 58 were civil.
In the Bawku District there were 15 female registered cases and 17 male benefitted from the scheme with a total of 30 civil cases and two criminal cases.