Justice For Sale 22 Judges Fired! 12 Hot


The Judicial Council has reportedly blocked resignation attempts by several judges at the centre of the bribery scandal that has hit the judiciary, and rather referred them to a disciplinary committee.

The exposé by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas regarding massive corruption in the judiciary has left some judges scrambling for cover, some of whom are alleged to have dashed to hospitals for treatment.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Some of the indicted judges are said to have petitioned the Judicial Council in an attempt to block the upcoming premiering of the video that contains the collection of bribes at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The judges had argued that exposing all of them to the public would be damaging to Ghana’s reputation, but the CJ turned down the appeal, giving the green light for the public viewing.

Mass Suspension
The Judicial Council has subsequently suspended 22 circuit court judges and magistrates after examination of the evidence produced by Anas.

A statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by the Judicial Secretary, Alex B. Poku-Acheampong, said the exposé would help the judiciary’s ongoing fight against corruption within its ranks.

‘A Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council was constituted to investigate the petition against the 22 judges and magistrates. It is a five-member committee chaired by a justice of the Supreme Court and expected to begin its sittings today.

The Committee is also tasked to look out for other court officials and clerks who may have collaborated in the bribery scandal.

‘On September 7, 2015 the circuit court judges and magistrates were served with letters stating the allegations against them and asking them to submit their responses by September 9, 2015.

‘The Judicial Council further decided that upon receipt of the responses, the 22 judges and the magistrates have accordingly been suspended with effect from Thursday, September 10, 2015,’ the statement maintained.

Administration Of Justice
A total of 34 high court, district and circuit court judges are said to be facing dismissal following the mind-blowing bribery scandal that has rocked the foundation of the administration of justice in Ghana.

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

It is rumoured that some of the ‘corrupt’ judges even exchanged sex for justice or were given freebies to pervert the course of justice.

No Way!
Reports say the Judicial Council and the office of the Chief Justice refused to accept the resignation letter of Justice John Ajet-Nassam, one of the judges cited in the latest corruption scandal.

However, Justice Ajet-Nassam, who controversially set free NDC financier Alfred Agbesi Woyome in the GH¢51 million judgement debt debacle, is said to have handed in his official vehicles and other state accoutrements with him yesterday.

DAILY GUIDE learnt yesterday that the judicial authorities refused the resignations because they wanted to thoroughly investigate the extent of corruption in the judiciary.

Sudden Illness
Some of the judges implicated in the scandal have suddenly been taken ill.

Justice Ernest Yaw Obimpeh, one of the judges allegedly implicated, was said to be currently on admission at an Accra private hospital while Justice Charles Quist, who jailed then NPP MP for Bawku Central, Adamu Dramani Sakande, has reportedly suffered mild stroke since news of the scandal hit the media.

Gory Details
A footage of the incriminatory video showed money changing hands as one could hear the judges, including Human Rights Court judges, Justices Kofi Essel Mensah and Charles Quist, allegedly making demands to throw away cases of robbery, murder and corruption among others.

‘What if I release him (armed robbery suspect) on Friday and I don’t see you again?’ Justice Quist was heard on tape allegedly quizzing someone.

‘Oh I will get him off. I will get him off the hook on Friday but everything will depend on you,’ he stressed in the conversation.

One of the judges was said to have taken GH¢5,000 to grant bail to a murder suspect, knowing that the law doesn’t allow it.

Petitions
Chief Executive Officer of Tiger Eye Productions Anas Aremeyaw Anas on Monday, August 31, submitted two petitions to the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, over the action of the judges.

A five-member committee was, therefore, set up on Wednesday, September 2, to look into the matter.

As per recommendations of the committee, the circuit court judges have been suspended and the fate of the 12 justices of the superior court will be determined within 48 hours.

The 12 judges have been asked to respond to the findings made against them.

The findings of the disciplinary committee also cited more than 100 court officials in the scandal. The video is set to be premiered at the Accra International Conference Centre on Tuesday, September 22.

All the 180 Judicial Service officials who have been implicated in the bribery scandal have been interdicted by the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood.

The officials were captured on video ostensibly taking money from litigants.

Some of the culprits have also been linked to sex scandals in a three-hour edited video emanating from a two-year investigation into judicial corruption by Anas and his team.

Names of some of the judges making the rounds include John Ajet-Nasam, Charles Quist (Fast Track), Kofi Essel Mensah (Human Rights), Paul Uuter Dery (Human Rights) and Mustapha Habib Logoh. They are all high court judges.

Others are Ivy Heward Mills, Mustapha Mohammed and Obimpeh.

GBA’s Call
Ghana Bar Association (GBA) spokesperson Tony Forson also said judges involved in the scandal should not be spared.

‘Unfortunately, not all of us have seen this video; we have just seen snippets…as an association, the decision we have taken…is that the Constitution makes provisions for the removal of superior court judges in Article 146; so as a body, we have decided that we will wait and allow the constitutional provision run its course…in order not to prejudice any person’s interest because this is a very serious matter,’ he said.

He described the scandal as shocking and worrying, adding that it is an embarrassment to the entire judicial system.

By William Yaw Owusu


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