How to bribe a judge on rape: Justice Yaw Ansu Gyeabour’s story

Anas reporting from the Tamale High Court

A man in Tamale who has been sentenced to prison term for rape paid his way into the pardon of Justice Yaw Ansu Gyiabour.

Through the help of the Judge’s driver, Tiger managed to lead the family of the accused to Justice Gyiabuor’s house, where the matter, which was as crucial as a ‘world cup final’ to the victim and her family, ended up being played out like an inconsequential friendly match, kicked off, all with a GHc 2000.00 ceremonial handshake.

Besides being an infraction of the law, it comes with moral, social and psychological dimensions. The most affected party is invariably the innocent one who suffers the rape.

When such cases finally land in court, their sensitive nature leads to in-camera hearings being instituted, all in an effort to protect the ‘raped’ from the undue trauma of having to appear in an open court for people to stigmatize her. (In-camera hearing is where the case is heard out of the view of the general public).

The substantive case Tiger took to Justice Ansu Gyiabuor’s court in Tamale was a topical one. The state had obtained judgment against the accused.

The family of the accused expressed interest in appealing the decision and Tiger saw an opportunity to follow the case and fish out whatever bad elements there were within the case.

 Connection Man Driver Charles Relays Judges’ Non-negotiable GHc 2000.00 demand (Hidden Camera Footage)

We could not find a clerk to be a liaison for us, but we found a driver- one Charles. He was the judge’s driver and expressed a lot of enthusiasm towards our decision to see the judge. This was after the family had filed an appeal to the earlier ruling and furnished Tiger with a copy of all the documentation.

It was not long before Charles called to inform Tiger about the outcome of his grounds work. The judge, he said, had charged GHc2000.00 flat.

After Tiger had raised the said amount, the driver arranged a meeting with the judge. It turned out that the trial judge wanted the meeting held at his home. It was almost like the appeal trial case titled: Republic vs. Idrissu Majeed was to be ‘heard’ in the sitting room of the judge with only the accused party present.

Inside Justice Ansu Gyiabuor’s House to Pay Bribe (Hidden Camera Footage)

So we were led to the Tamale residence of the judge. He sat in his sofa while the Tiger team sat directly opposite him.

This was a rather relaxed environment; the judge was not wearing a suit, neither did he have the gavel. There were no law books in sight and the language was less legalese and more common language that both parties understood.  Of course, this ‘trial’ was devoid of prosecutors and defense lawyers.

It was in this atmosphere that the judge revealed to us how he had advised a lawyer to find something for prosecutors to meddle with a case

 (Tiger enters judge’s room)

Judge Ansu: Have a Seat! You are welcome!

Tiger: Thank you sir!

 Judge Ansu: Today too you’ve come.

Tiger: Yeah!

Judge Ansu: Why have you come?

Tiger: Sir I am a brother of Majid!

Voice: That’s the junior brother.

Judge Ansu: Ahhh you resemble him.

Tiger: And I have also come to show our concern, and because brother Oyi and co came yesterday, we have decided to come and check.

Judge Ansu: Mmmm you see, they were here yesterday and I told them that after the case, the girl’s father brought some; what you may refer to as……………… the girl was 16 years 10 months and the judge gave Majid too, the girl should be below 16 years so if it is true that the girl was 16 years 10 months then the whole trial was…….

So I said they should bring the boy’s father, then the father should come with the girl for the girl to come and confirm that this is my father. So I said they should come with either her (NHIS) National Health Insurance card…. (Judge receives a phone call) one minute please!

Judge Ansu: (After the phone call) so I said the (NHIS) National Health Insurance card, voters ID or if she has a passport, as for a passport I don’t think she has one. These are the three but even if he doesn’t have them, he should come with the girl. Do you know the girl?

Tiger: Yes my lord, I know the girl!

Judge Ansu: He should come with the girl, so if they come and she says ‘yes this is my father’ then even without any of the cards, that would be okay.

Tiger: Okay my lord!

Judge Ansu: So tell him he should not fear, I’ll not do anything to him, he shouldn’t fear. All I want to find out is that yes this is his old man and that I made that document that my daughter is 16 years and 10 months that’s all that I’ll ask him.

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Tiger: Okay, my lord!

Judge Ansu: So he should not fear that maybe when he comes he’ll have trouble.

Tiger: Okay my lord, so my lord … (Judge cuts in)

Judge Ansu: I know this man very well, even today too he came to plead that I should help emmm lawyer Brown, do you know him?

Tiger: No for me I don’t know him.

Judge Ansu: Ahhh one lawyer Brown don’t you know him?

Tiger: I got to know him just yesterday that is why I said I don’t know him.

Judge Ansu: But you said he’s a member of your family!

Tiger: Yes my lord, because me I was not in town, I was at school, it’s because of the case that I just….

(Judge cuts in)

 Judge Ansu: Where?

Tiger: Cape Coast!

 Judge Ansu: Cape Vars?

Tiger: Yes, UCC!

 Judge Ansu: Okay!

Tiger: It’s because of the case that I just came home so I met him yesterday.

 Judge Ansu: Okay, he himself he came to talk to me, yesterday I saw him and then today too I saw him. In fact I even advised him that he should try and see the state attorney……….he should try and go and find something for him so you can go and discuss it with him.

Tiger: Yes my lord!

 Judge Ansu: You, don’t say that you have come to see me, the lawyer, don’t tell him that you have been to me.

Tiger: Okay my lord!

 Judge Ansu: Tell him that you came to enquire from a lawyer and he said in such cases the state attorney too is very important so what steps has he taken to see the state attorney, and then you can go and find some kola for him. Do you understand me?

Tiger: Yes my lord!

 Judge Ansu: ……… once he has come dieeeer anything that we can do, me you see, the important thing is that you get this man to come because…..(Tiger cuts in)

Tiger: We’ll get him, for him there’s no problem at all.

Judge Ansu: And the daughter.

Tiger: For them we don’t have any problem at all, what we want now is…..(Judge cuts in)

 Judge Ansu: Hold on; the reason why I’m insisting that they come so that this case can end is that tomorrow’s week, we’ll close the court and resume around 6th October and I’m leaving this town, I’ve been transferred to Asante Mampong so if you don’t bring them for me to help, then that would not be my fault.

Tiger: Okay my lord!

Judge Ansu: Do you understand me?

Tiger: Yes my lord!

Judge Ansu: Ahhhha, every year, at the end of July, the high court goes on recess and resumes around mid-October….. but in this case if we resume I’ll not be here, I’m going on transfer to Asante Mampong. So if we are not able to work fast and close on the 31st then my hands would be tied, I cannot do anything at all.

Tiger: We’ll try our best my lord!

Judge Ansu: ….. I cannot go and sit there.

Tiger: Okay, okay, we’ll try our best, what we want now is… (Judge cuts in)

Judge Ansu: What is the most important thing is to get the man there.

Tiger: Okay my lord!

 Judge Ansu: If he hasn’t gotten the voters’ identification card, or the NHI card… (Tiger cuts in)

Tiger: We’ll get it, we’ll get it!

 Judge Ansu: But if he hasn’t gotten it, he can still ask the girl to come, if she come and I ask the girl that is this your father and she says ‘yes this is my father’, that’s it.

Tiger: Okay, thank you very much sir!

 Judge Ansu: Then maybe your brother’s side, your area there, maybe the chief there, you can also come with the chief for the chief to identify him.

Tiger: Okay!

Voice: …………….

 (At this juncture, Tiger hands over bribe sum of GHc2000.00 to Justice Alex Ansu Gyiabuor, he accepted it and put it beside him)

‘Don’t Tell Anybody About The Bribe’ Justice Ansu Gyiabuor Pleads With Tiger. (Hidden Camera Footage)

 It turned out that he harboured fears about taking the money, and took his time to warn, plead and appeal to us to be discreet with the way we conducted ourselves over the issue.

 Judge Ansu: Thanks! Please I beg you, sit down (referring to Tiger who was still standing after giving the money to the judge) what’s your name?

Tiger: I’m Idriss Ishmael

 Judge Ansu: Please you know our work; these things are very dangerous.

Tiger & voice: Yes sir

Judge Ansu: So you are two and I am three (referring to the number of people they are in the room) so let this thing remain in this room, I beg you.

Tiger: Okay my lord, okay my lord

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 Judge Ansu: You said you are called what?

Tiger: I’m Idriss Ishmael

 Judge Ansu: Ahhha Ishmael, even your brother, lawyer Brown; don’t tell him.

Tiger: No, no, no my lord we will not tell him.

 Judge Ansu: Now if you would like to see the state attorney yourself then maybe you can come to the court tomorrow. I’ll get somebody to take you to him.

Tiger: Okay my lord, we’ll do that my lord.

 Judge Ansu: So normally I arrive at the court between 8:30-9:00 am, so you come there around 8:30, I’ll be around. My name is Judge Ansu. Pronounce it and let me see.

Tiger: Judge Ansu

 Judge Ansu: Ahhha, Ansu Gyiabuor, Judge Ansu Gyiabuor. If you come, say that you are after Mumuni.

Tiger: Mumuni, okay my lord

 Judge Ansu: Mumuni, he’s my boy. I think you know Mumuni?

Voice: Yes

 Judge Ansu: Say you are after Mumuni and then tell him that you are after me.

Tiger: Okay my lord

 Judge Ansu: So I’ll ask him to take you to the state attorney and then you find something and put it in an envelope, don’t bring it like this (referring to the money Tiger gave him) Ghs200, GHc 300.00, whatever your strength would be, put it in an envelope nicely.

 When you come we’ll take you to him. That you’re begging him, the boy is your elder brother and its because of him you have come from the university so you beg him, any help he can offer but as to the meeting between us, even lawyer Brown don’t tell him.

Tiger: Okay my lord!

 Judge Ansu: I beg you ooo

Tiger: Okay my lord, my lord from here, that would be the end.

Judge Ansu: Okay! So I’ll see what I can do.

Tiger & Voice: Okay, thank you very much my lord.

Judge Ansu: Okay, be safe on your way back. So Ishmael…

Tiger: Yes my lord

Judge Ansu: I hope I’ve told you about bringing the man.

Tiger: Yes my lord

Judge Ansu: And we start work at 9am so you should not wait till 9am before you leave the house, you all should come to the court, around 8:30am then you come and sit in the court room.

Tiger: We’ll do that my lord!

Judge Ansu: Try and go and greet your brother.

Tiger: Okay my lord!

Judge Ansu: have you been there?

Tiger: Yeah, yeah, even this afternoon I went there.

Judge Ansu: You went there..! If you go there in the afternoon, ask of one madam Mercy.

Tiger: Madam Mercy, okay!

Judge Ansu: Ahhh, she’s fair coloured, Mercy Akoto.

Tiger: Mercy Akoto!

Judge Ansu: Akoto Miss Abino!

Tiger: Ahhh, Abino!

Judge Ansu: She comes to work in the afternoon, after 2pm, if you go there around 2:30pm you ask of her and then you tell her that I have asked you to come and see her, you want to see your brother.

Tiger: Okay my lord, thank you my lord!

Judge Ansu: So I beg let everything remain here.

Tiger: Okay my lord!

Judge Ansu: Bye, bye.

Tiger: Bye

 ‘Gifts’ of Guinea Fowls, Tubers Of Yam And Cash To Judge Ansu Gyiabuor (Hidden Camera Footage)

Tiger wanted more evidence of Justice Ansu Gyiabuor’s complicity in the crime, so we decided to pay him an unexpected visit to seal the deal.

 One weekend, when our monitoring revealed that he was at home, we got our guinea fowl, a sack full of tubers of yam and cash. We headed straight to his house with the accused person who had been released, to meet him.

Tiger: My lord, we’re back again! (Tiger brings out the tubers of yam)

Judge Ansu: Put them down.

Tiger: We borrowed the sack so we just want to go and return the sack.

Judge Ansu: Ehhee! ……….

Tiger: Oh thank you sir.

(Tiger gives guinea fowl to judge).

Judge Ansu: What’s the mystery!

Tiger: Hahaha, Sir I want the appreciation to last long including this….!

Judge Ansu: (Talking to one of his boys). Call Agyie to come and slaughter this (referring to the guinea fowl Tiger had just brought)

Tiger: In fact, I quickly wish to say that “when appreciation last long you’ll be able to taste”

Judge Ansu: Yooo!

Tiger: So my lord, we are just here to thank you; that is why we came with our brother.

Judge Ansu: Oh okay! Thank you very much!

Tiger: Thank you my lord! (Tiger gives bribe money to the judge). Judge shakes hands with the money

Tiger : Thank you very much.

Judge Ansu: Okay then you can go, thank you!

Tiger: Thank you my lord!

Judge Ansu: Extend my greetings to the woman for me.

Tiger: Okay my lord! (Tiger shakes hands with one of the judge’s guys) So I’ll call you ehh!

Guy: Where’s your brother?

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Tiger: Here he is (referring to the man he’s walking with)

Guy: Are you the one?

Tiger: Yes he’s the one. (guy shakes hands with Tiger’s brother)

Guy: Ahhh thank God!

Judge Ansu: Is he the one who won the case?

Tiger: Yeah he’s the one my lord!

Judge Ansu: Ahhh, that day he was in this your ahhhh….!

Tiger: Mmmm, Jalabia! So we decided to come with him.

Judge Ansu: Ahh okay! Be careful ooo (referring to Tiger’s brother) now if you want to have sex with any girl….; You see that of yours, has it not been the girl’s age, if the girl was to be under age sixteen, the minimum sentence would have been seven years. Oh you can go!

Tiger: Okay my lord, thank you my lord! (To judge’s guy) boss I’ll call you.

Guy: Okay!

Tiger: Thank you very much!

Guy: Take care then!

Tiger: Okay!

 Ansu Gyiabuor’s Driver (Charles) Attacks Tiger For Breach Of Bribery Contract (Hidden Camera Footage)

 Even though he was our first point of contact in trying to reach the trial judge, Charles had since received only GHc 20.00 for his work and input.  We had gone on to deal with his boss in his absence and settled the judge to help us free a relative in the matter of rape.

Tiger had tried avoiding Charles as best as he could till one day an inevitable meeting resulted, Charles minced no words in hitting out at Tiger for ‘absconding’. while he lambasted, Tiger did his best to cool his temper.

Judge’s Driver: Just collect this guy’s number, come to the house and even call me. When I call you too you don’t want to pick!

Tiger: There’s a saying that the guilty always have plenty to say that’s why I don’t want to talk.

Judge’s Driver: The way you were serious that day, if you had given me the money, I told you I want to help you, that evening I called you but your phone was off. And you are just dodging me to come and see this man, I was the one who introduced this man to you.

Tiger: It’s true sir!

Judge’s Driver: What have I done wrong?

Tiger: Sir please you have to beg him for me!

Judge’s Driver: Don’t make any consideration ooo, make sure everything must be done in the right way okay!

Voice: I’ve heard you, you are my boss.

Judge’s Driver: I’ve been calling him, yesterday I called him about four times, am I lying?

Tiger: No sir!

Judge’s Driver: Even if its money issues koraaa, just pick my call and we’ll know what to do. You go to my brother, he’ll talk to you. If he does everything, then help him, if he doesn’t, just leave him and go.

Voice: No I can’t do that, because of you. I can’t leave him.

Judge’s Driver: I can put you in and I can bring you out.

Tiger: It’s true sir, sir please!

Judge’s Driver: Leave him and go.

Tiger: Sir please, I’m begging you!

Judge’s Driver: You just call me, even if I call you just pick my call and talk to me, that’s all!

Tiger: I’m sorry!

Judge’s Driver: You go and see him!

Tiger: Okay sir!

 Judge’s Driver: You were not expecting that I’m close to him.

Tiger: When he told me that you were coming with a car, I knew automatically that it might be you.

 Charles was a conduit through whom we got access to the judge, one of many conduits who kick-start the corruption chain within the judiciary. Many, like him, have acted and continue to act as bribe ‘solicitors’ and ‘negotiators’ even remitters at some point.

To those who might want to extenuate the enormity of the roles of judges in such circumstances, by portraying them as innocent pawns who never knew they were being used to extort money, the question is; if they (facilitators) knew that the judges would not accept these monies, would they give any such assurances to people who approach them? Did follow up not prove that they were, indeed, the judges’ cohorts? Except a few, very few, it is largely a gloomy situation but we really do know of others who stood their grounds and out-rightly rejected bribes.

The most expensive investigation by Tiger Eye (Undercover – ‘Ghana In The Eyes of God’) brings to light, the unscrupulous activities of over 170 staff and judges within the borders of our country. Several categories of people were caught red-handed on hidden camera footage, taking bribes from desperate clients.

When we were going to press we went to get Justice Yaw Ansu Gyeabuor side of the story but we were told he had gone on pension. All efforts to get his contact to react to his side of the story have proven unsuccessful.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

By Anas Aremeyaw Anas.|Ghana


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