Anas Storms Court

Popular investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas yesterday stormed the court for the first time following his mind-blowing exposé on massive corruption in the judiciary.

He went to the court complex on the High Street in Accra at the invitation of the committee investigating the corruption scandal.

Anas was invited for cross-examination in respect of the numerous audio-visual evidences he submitted to the Chief Justice concerning the modus operandi of the alleged corrupt judges.

No Sitting
Unfortunately for Anas, the committee could not sit because one of its members, Nene Amegatcher, was said to be in Kumasi for the ongoing Ghana Bar Association Conference.

Like a movie star, Anas’ presence attracted a good number of onlookers, particularly the Judicial Service staff.

He was heavily protected by policemen, some of whom were in mufti.

When he arrived at the court premises, Anas and his team from Tiger Eye PI headed straight to where the committee was sitting and spent close to an hour there.

Currently, 22 circuit court judges and magistrates have been suspended while 12 superior court judges – mostly at the high courts – are facing possible impeachment for corruption.

Bad Nuts
The 12 high court judges indicted in the video recordings include Justice Paul Dery – who has sued Anas and his company over the expose – Justices Kofi Essel Mensah, Charles Quist, John Ajet-Nassam and Ernest Obimpeh.

The rest are Justices Mustapha Habib Logoh, Gilbert Ayisi-Addo popularly called Saddam, Frank Opoku, Ivy Heward-Mills and Kwame Ohene Essel.

However, two out of the 12 justices – Yaw Ansu-Gyeabour and Mohammed Iddrisu – are said to have already retired before Anas made the investigative report available.

Lower Courts
The names of some of the suspended lower court judges have been given as Florence K. Ninepence Otoo, Alex Obeng Asante, Emmanuel K. Sunu, Benjamin Y. Osei, Baptist Kodwo Filson, Issac Akwetey, Albert Zoogah, Courage Ofori Afriyie and Seyram T.Y. Azumah, all of the circuit court.

The magistrates are William Baffoe, Michael Boamah Gyamfi, Paul K. Alhassan, Stephen Asuure, Kaakyire Atta Owusu, Alfred K.A. Mensah, Frank Kingsley Oppong, Samuel Ahaibor, Isaac K. Amoah and Jacob Amponsah.

Video/Audio Evidence
The high-profile judges have been captured on either video or audio allegedly collecting bribes in order to give judgements in favour of those who had offered the bribes – and sometimes to the highest bidder.

Unsatisfied with the composition of the Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council (JC), 14 of the judges filed a suit at the High Court to challenge the legality of the committee.

The group of circuit court judges and magistrates want a declaration that the disciplinary proceedings by the Judicial Council against them are contrary to law and or due process.

They are also asking the high court to declare that the panel constituted by the Chief Justice to institute disciplinary proceedings against them has no legal basis and therefore null and void.

Meanwhile, on September 22 an Accra high court will hear a motion for interlocutory injunction filed by the 14 judges restraining the committee from continuing with its sittings.

The group wants the court to restrain the committee from ‘continuing with the proceedings instituted by the Judicial Council against the plaintiffs which commenced sitting on September 10, 2015 pending the final determination of the instant action.’

DAILY GUIDE has learnt that the committee had hinted of continuing with its sittings regardless of any court action.

Sources claimed that the committee would continue to sit even in the absence of the affected judges.

Public Screening
Justice Paul Uuter Dery on Monday filed a suit at the Fast Track High Court in an attempt to halt the public airing of the video.

The suit, among other things, stated that the alleged visual recording, having been unlawfully obtained by Anas, could not be used in any proceedings.

17 For Trial
It later emerged that about 17 out of the 22 circuit court judges and magistrates implicated might be charged before the disciplinary committee.

DAILY GUIDE sources hinted that the Attorney General’s (AG’s) representative on the committee was preparing to slap the judges with the charge of corruption and misdemeanour under Section 239 sub-sections 1& 2 of the Criminal Code of 1960.

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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