Judicial scandal hearing: Committee to go ahead despite court case over its authority

The Disciplinary Committee looking into the allegations of bribery against some judges in the country says it will proceed with its hearing despite the suit challenging its authority.

Lawyer for 14 of the 22 lower court judges implicated in the scandalous video produced by Anas Aremeyaw Anas have gone to court challenging 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.

Notwithstanding, the five-member committee of the Judicial Council insist it will proceed with its work, sources close to the Committee has told tv3network.com

But lawyer for the 14 judges, Charles Bentum, 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.

Hearing suspended Tuesday

Meanwhile, the committee was forced to suspend its hearing Tuesday morning due to the absence of one of its Members who is attending the annual Bar Conference, which opened in Kumasi on Monday.

President of the Ghana Bar Association, Nene Amegatcher, who is on the Committee, is currently attending the annual conference at which opening event the scandalous judicial corruption took centre stage.

It is not clear when the Committee will resume its hearing considering that the conference will end on Friday.

The ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas whose work, spanning two years, exposed the 34 corrupt judges, was scheduled to be heard and cross-examined on the three-hour edited documentary Tuesday.

As at midday, Anas and his team of investigators from the Tiger Eye PI had arrived at the Judicial Service Headquarters in Accra where the hearings have been going on.

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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