Judicial scandal hearing: Committee in a crunch meeting over lawsuits

The judicial Disciplinary Committee looking into the allegations of bribery against some judges in the country is locked up in a crunch meeting to decide on the way forward in view of  lawsuits challenging its authority in the matter.

The Committee was scheduled to take evidence from and cross examine the award-winning investigative journalists, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, whose work spanning two years,  exposed alleged gross corruption within the judiciary involving 34 judges.

But  the panel on Friday morning adjourned its hearing to September 25  because it has been served with notices of lawsuits by some of the judges implicated in the scandalous judicial corruption, which it wants to respond to before it proceeds with its probe.


Anas leaving the premises of the Judicial Service Headquarters in Accra after the adjournment

Established by the Judicial Council, the Committee’s work is to establish a prima facie case against the judges for impeachment processes  to begin.

Lawyer for 14 of the 22 lower court judges implicated in the scandalous video produced by Anas Aremeyaw Anas have gone to court to challenge the composition of the committee, claiming it is not grounded by law and due process.

They have argued that since the power to conduct disciplinary proceedings against them rest with a High Court judge or some judicial officer appointed by the Chief Justice, the committee lacks jurisdiction to investigate them.

Lawyers for the 14 judges said they would not hesitate to cause contempt proceedings against the Committee should it go ahead to investigate the case that has grabbed international attention.

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Justice Dery sues Anas, 3 others for contempt

Meanwhile,  one of the High Court judges, Justice  U.P. Dery, who has gone to court to fight the video documentary evidence, is filing an application for injunction against the Accra International Conference Centre is to sue Anas, the New Crusading Guide, Sulemana Braimah of the Media Foundation for West Africa and one other for contempt.

sources close to the judge claims  a day after injunction was filled, Anas and the New Crusading Guide published transcripts of what it said were conversations with Justice Dery in the alleged bribery scandal.

Mr. Braimah and the one other person are said to have made comments on the matter that Justice Dery considers to be contemptuous of court, hence his latest action.

In the latest investigation piece by Anas Aremeyaw Anas yet to premier in Accra, 34 judges at the country’s High Courts, the Circuit and District courts were captured on camera taking bribes from litigants whose cases come before them.

The three-hour edited video, which is the result of a two-year painstaking investigation into the judiciary by the award-winning investigative journalist, also exposes some of the judges in a sex scandal.

Anas has since petitioned the President John Dramani Mahama, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General to begin impeachment processes to remove the High Court judges found in the video to be taking bribes and extorting money from litigants.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah/3news.com/Ghana
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