Corruption: Investigation Whirlwind Blows 21 Judges Off Their Beats In Ghana-At least 21 High Court and Magistrate judges have been sacked in Ghana following a long trail of investigation which had caught them in a major bribery scandal. The investigation was spread on 32 high and low Court judges.
Ghana’s Judicial Council on Tuesday dismissed the 20 of the nation’s 21 Circuit Court Judges and Magistrates in the scandal investigation which was carried out by an investigative journalism syndicate which trailed their activities to Court houses and individual offices in a major rare deep rooted investigative exploration, such that has never been seen in the history of the country.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the main actor in the revelation of the scandal has been criticised and threatened by different arms representing the judges who continually allege that the sort of investigations carried out were intrusive, encroaching and beyond human limitations.
Anas who remain unidentifiable as a person in the judicial sanitation exercise later resorted to presenting disguised personality, such that has made it impossible to identify him in many public places. Anonymous letters to his organisation even threatened him of assassination if he was caught by some interest groups who alleged him of bringing Ghana’s legal system into international disgrace.
The judges had been investigated for various misconduct after the investigative journalist went underground to dig out many black-holes in the judicial system, being so corrupt with bribery miscarriage and misapplication of trials and judgements.
His tenure of research spelled just over two years and the result has discredited the conduct of many judges. The news like wild fire swept through Ghana while the judges on several occasions threatened to fight back.
In the on-going government intervention, it is believed that justice application is being delayed while evidences littered all areas of the case with videos and notes evidence being presented.
However in twist of the corruption event, Anas and tigereyepi Anas petitioned Ghana’s Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, recommending that all the 23 lower court judges must be sacked on grounds of misconduct, bad behaviour and miscarriage of justice pursuant to Article 151 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Two of those judges implicated in the scandal were however exempted from the mass sack as due to a recent promotion as the article recommending the sack exonerated high court judges. They were elevated to the High Court in April 2015 and could not be removed by Article 151.
The various corruption petitions by Anas’s were supported by audio-visual evidences of bribery in which the accused judges and magistrates had been secretly recorded selling injustice and collecting bribes to pass favourable verdicts.
Following the corruption petition, the judges came under the investigation of a disciplinary committee chaired by Supreme Court Justice, Sophia Adinyira and including two past presidents of the Ghana Bar Association, Frank Beecham and Nene Amegatcher; Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, Brigadier General Edward Fiawoo, and Justice Elizabeth Ankumah of the High Court.
At a press conference on Monday December 7, 2015, the Judicial Council announced some of the judges and magistrates were removed with end of service benefits and some others dismissed without.
It explained that those removed with benefits were remorseful when they appeared before the Committee and apologized profusely to the people of Ghana and the Judiciary for bringing the Judiciary’s name into disrepute by their conduct.
Those removed with benefits are Seyram Tsatsu Azumah, Akropong Circuit Court; Paul K. Alhassan, Agona District Court; Albert Zoogah, Ashaiman Circuit Court, and Courage Ofori Afriye, Offinso District Court.
Those dismissed without benefits are:
Benjamin Y. Osei, Juaben Circuit Court
Frank Kingsley Oppong, Kasoa District Court,
Michael Boamah Gyamfi, Mampongten District Court;
Alex Obeng Asante, Tarkwa Circuit Court;
William Baffoe, Cape Coast Circuit Court;
Emmanuel Opare, Techiman Circuit Court;
Alfred K.A. Mensah, Somanya District Court;
Baptist Kodwo Filson, Bibiani Circuit Court,
Emmanuel K. Sunu, Bolgatanga Circuit Court;
Florence Otoo Ninepence, Tema Circuit Court,
Isaac B. Akwantey, Wa Circuit Court,
Samuel Ahiabor, Adidome Circuit Court,
Jacob Amponsah, Ejisu District Court.
Source Addition: GBN