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Updated: Justice Dery loses “half-salary” battle at Supreme Court

Justice Dery has since the exposé been fighting to exonerate himself of any wrongdoing
Justice Dery has since the exposé been fighting to exonerate himself of any wrongdoing

The Supreme Court has refused to grant a request by two of the High Court judges implicated in the Anas judicial scandal, to have their salary and allowances fully restored.

The Judicial Council per a decision dated December 16, 2015 placed embattled judges, Justices Paul Uuter  Dery and Gilbert Ayisi Addo on “half salary” pending investigation into allegations of corrupt practices leveled against them by ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Consequent to the decision by the Judicial Council, the two superior court judges filed a writ at the Supreme Court to challenge the “half salary” order claiming it is in contravention of Article 127 (5) of the constitution.

However, the five-member panel of justices on Thursday unanimously held otherwise, and accordingly dismissed the writ, TV3’s Komla Klutse reports.

The Court which was presided by Justice Julius told the parties in the case it will give its reasons within seven days, Komla reported.

UP Dery

Justice Dery [left] leaving the Supreme Court Thursday after the sitting

The writ filed at the Supreme Court in January by the two embattled judges had the Judicial Council, the Chief Justice, the Judicial Secretary, the Director of Finance of the Judicial Service, and the Pay master of the Judicial Service as defendants.

The rest were Controller and Accountant General and the Attorney General.

Reliefs sought

Among other reliefs, the two judges who are currently on suspension argued the order putting them on half-salary and stripping them of all their allowances except rent was inconsistent with Article 127(5) Constitution and therefore unconstitutional, null and void.

“An order nullifying the above named decisions by the 1st Defendant (Judicial Council) taken on the 16th of December, 2015 and which are contained in letters dated 8th and 11th January, 2016” the prayed the court.

They again had again sought order of perpetual injunction restraining the Judicial Council, its assigns, privies, servants, agents from implementing the decision suspending half of their salary and allowances.

Background

Anas in September  2015 released a video documentary of an 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, 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.

 

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Twitter @steviekgh

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