Nine months after the country’s judiciary was rocked by a scandalous bribery that led to the dismissal of some judges, the Judicial Council has begun steps to appoint new judges and magistrates to the various courts.
A total of 34 individuals are being considered by the Appointment Committee of the Council for appointment to the High Court, Circuit Court and District Magistrate, the Council announced in a statement.
The Council has consequently asked the public to submit to it by Monday June 27, any reservation they may have on the persons listed for appointment.
“To ensure that justices, judges and magistrates to be appointed to the judiciary are persons of high moral character and proven integrity as required by the Constitution, the Judicial Council as a new measure has decided to extend an invitation to the public to submit written memoranda in respect of all applicants to be appointed to the Judiciary,” it said.
Some of the 34 applicants are already serving in the lower courts who are being appointed to the High Court while others are staff of the Attorneys at the Attorney General’s Department. Others are private legal practitioners.
Scandalous bribery in the Judiciary
The latest move by the Judicial Council to involve the public comes on the back of the scandalous bribery and corruption that rocked the country’s judiciary late last year. The expose followed years of investigations by ace journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Anas in September 2015 released a video documentary on the investigation which showed more than 100 judicial staff including court clerks and 34 judges at the country’s High Courts, District and Magistrate courts taking bribes from litigants to compromise justice delivery in cases before the various courts.
The three-hour edited video, which is the result of a two-year painstaking investigation into the judiciary by the award winning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, triggered a number of law suit against him, his Tiger Eye PI investigation team and other individuals.
Some of the High Court judges indicted in the corruption quagmire initially filed a motion in a bid to stop the public screening of the video at the Accra International Conference Centre but that failed.
But that was just the beginning of a number of suits to come. Currently, Anas is caught in a legal web with some of the judges, including Justice UP Derry who has filed multiple cases from the High Court to the Supreme Court.
At least 25 of the judges implicated in the scandal have been dismissed from the Judicial Service in accordance with regulation 27 (2) of the Judicial Service Regulation 27 (2) after they were found guilty of stated misconduct.
Below is the list of persons being considered for appointment as judges and magistrates:
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana