A high court judge indicted in Ghana’s scandalous judicial corruption has initiated contempt proceedings against the country’s chief justice for her attempts to proceed with impeachment processes against him.
Justice Habib Logoh was in 2015 named among 34 judges at the country’s High, District and Magistrate courts for allegedly taking bribes from litigants to compromise justice delivery in cases before the various courts.
The High Court judge who is currently on suspension, has since been challenging legality of the investigative piece that unraveled deep-seated corruption among some judges and judicial staff in the country.
He consequently declined a September 9, 201- request by the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina T. Wood to respond to a petition by the ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, that sought his removal as a judge.
Justice Logoh at the time grounded his refusal to respond to the petition on the pendency of a series of cases he has filed in respect of the petition and the impeachment processes started by the Chief Justice to look into the matter.
But amidst fresh request by the Chief Justice to Justice Logoh to respond to the petition in line with the impeachment processes, the High Court judge has initiated a contempt action at the Supreme Court against Mrs Wood.
A letter dated February 2, 2017 which accompanied his contempt writ also filed February 1, 2017 said despite his pending cases, the Chief Justice on January 30, 2017 wrote to him to respond to the Anas petition seeking his removal.
Justice Logoh argued the Chief Justice’s latest “conduct to proceed with the impeachment proceedings whilst there is a suit in the Supreme Court challenging your jurisdiction is contemptuous of the Supreme Court.
“Your ladyship, if you ignore these pending court processes and proceed with the impeachment process, it would constitute a continuous flagrant disrespect to the dignity, integrity and authority of the High Court and the Supreme Court of which you are the head,” Justice Logo stated in the letter addressed to the Chief Justice.
He contended that should the Chief Justice continue with the process, it would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
Accordingly, he has stated he is unable to respond to the petition as requested by the Chief Justice.
Scandalous bribery in the Judiciary
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.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana