Photos: How Justice Charles Quist took the Anas bribe

Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw, has released photos and a blow-by-blow account of how Justice Charles Quist, one of the 12 High Court judges named in the scandalous judicial bribery, received GHC10,000 as an inducement to release three armed robbers who were standing trial in his court.

Justice Quist in his car to take the money

                                        Justice Quist in his car to receive the bribe

Justice Quist taking the bribe

                                                  Justice Quist taking the bribe

                                   The car in which Justice Quist took the bribe

Gyata, the clerk who brokered the bribery deal

         Gyata, the clerk who brokered the bribery deal influence Justice Quist’s judgement in the robbery case


Charles Quist-Labour Court, Accra High Court
Case: Republic vs. Kwesi Nkrumah Koomson
Connection Man: Gyata

Kwesi Nkrumah is a Carpenter. He and his two other accomplices namely- Napoleon Gomez and Joseph Azure, armed with pistols and pump action guns, attacked the Unity Oil Petrol Station at Taifa, an Accra suburb, in the middle of the night, at around 2am. During the attack, they beat up six female fuel attendants and the security man on duty at gunpoint.

As their booty, they made away with the company’s steel safe containing over GHc 11,000.00 together with mobile phones, wristwatches, and personal effects of the attendants. The robbery took place in a Rambo fashion, traumatizing the female attendants and the security man especially, who was beaten almost to pulp.

Our initial meetings make interesting reading:

Tiger: So concerning my partner, I want to know how best you can…

Gyata: What is he doing, is it an appeal?

Tiger: I don’t know but it seems that he committed the offence and the case is in progress, maybe if you can talk to someone, then we will know what we can do about it.

Gyata: Robbery actually in this country is a very serious offence, it’s a first degree…and when somebody commits that offence and maybe you even leave him, the whole country would be watching you.
So normally when they commit such an offence and we go on to help them, the only help is to consider certain things so that they give them a minimum sentence and the minimum sentence is just to help them, you know with robbery the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

Tiger: What about killing?

Gyata: The same, killing attracts death penalty or life imprisonment so it is with robbery. Robbery, even that one is more dangerous because this is the point you want to kill somebody and at the same time you took his things away.
So normally, it’s a life imprisonment and then 50, 45 years and so on. But if the court considers as a way of maybe helping, then 15 years, 10 years minimum, it takes effect from the day of arrest whereby maybe you spent like… The gravity of the offence is what you take into consideration… So what is the name?

Tiger: Kweku Nkrumah and I am Kwame Nkrumah, his cousin.

Gyata: So they are involved in that George Ayettey thing?

Tiger: No, I learnt it’s against the republic or so.

Gyata: Yes, they are many and the leader is that George Ayettey; already he’s serving about 80 years in two different cases before this one.

Tiger: When he goes, then he breaks out or what?

Gyata: No, he’s already serving those ones in addition to this current one.

Tiger: So how did he come out again to commit this one?

Gyata: It means that when he was arrested in connection with one, the other one popped up.

Tiger: Okay, I understand; I thought when they sentenced him, he came back and…

Gyata: No, so as he’s there, he has not even spent a quarter of the sentence that he’s serving currently before this one too is pending.

Tiger: So as I’ve seen you, maybe if there’s anything, that’s the reason why I came, so if you can go and see your man, I would be very happy.

Gyata: You see, at times when you help human beings, they go to sing halleluyah somewhere, and it’s like they’ve even forgotten you.

Tiger: No, it’s you I’ve seen and you will lead me to where I have to go so don’t say that at all, I don’t want to hear that, yes I understand you, I can’t leave you and go and see him directly, no it’s through you that I can see him, so it all depends on you.

Gyata: What I will do is that, Monday I will discuss with him.

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Tiger: Any amount involved, I’m ready to…

Gyata: But as I’m giving you the implications, he will not be left like that; at least he will get a minimum sentence taking effect from the day of arrest or whatever. But why is it that these our brothers and sisters they involve themselves in things like that?

Tiger: As I’m here, I have so many things doing there, but I don’t know, if you tell them to do something, they think you’re punishing them or something. I don’t know why they do that. As it is now, the friends (you were with) … no one will come close to you.

Gyata: They will not get close to you.

Tiger: Even when you come out, they won’t get close to you.

Gyata: So I will go to the man on Monday because that case is pending judgment, judgment is about to be delivered on that case.

Tiger: Please do your best for me, I’m begging you.

Gyata: Okay, I will see what to do. I will talk to my man about it but call me on Monday morning and remind me, call me around 8 o’clock and remind me,so that I’ll see. (We did cut a deal to pay a GHc 10,000.00 bribe.)

Payment of first installment

Gyata: Good morning sir.

Judge Quist: Good morning.

Gyata: My Lord, as I pleaded with you yesterday, this is the guy, he’s the brother to the second accused person, he has just come down from the USA …
Tiger: UK

Gyata: UK, and that his brother’s issue is a headache to him and he wants to see my Lord, plead with my Lord and see what my Lord can do for him and whatever he needs to do, he’ll also try and do, so I told him that if only he can meet my Lord so that’s why he’s here this morning.

Judge Quist: Okay

Gyata: To do some commitment.

Tiger: I didn’t mean to let this thing happen but it has happened. Some people, when you talk to them, they don’t want to listen. They think the world is like this high, high, but it has happened already but as it is now, only that I’m just pleading with my Lord if there’s something that you can do for him to come, I’ll be very happy.

As at now, getting money is very hard but as my uncle (Gyaata) said, I’ll try the best to do what I have to do for him but when he comes and he wants to do it again, that’s him, that one I’ll not be in town again to go up and down and stuff. So I’m pleading on his behalf.

Judge Quist: Okay I’ve heard you.

Gyata: So my Lord, he wants to know how best my Lord would help him and ehh

Judge Quist: Well, I’ll try my best and let him out.

Tiger: Thank you sir. As there is a saying, you don’t go to a palace empty handed or something and as my uncle said, I wanted to do some commitment with this. I don’t have a poly something here. Thank you. (5:34 minutes. Tiger hands over the money to Judge Quist and Quist stretches out his hands and grabs the money).

Judge Quist: How much is this?

Tiger: It’s four.

Judge Quist: Pardon?

Tiger: 4,000 cedis sir.

Gyata: He says he’ll …

Tiger: I’ll come again.

Judge Quist: When, when is the case coming on?

Gyata: My Lord I think this Friday or so.

Judge Quist: Friday?

Gyata: Mmhhmm.

Tiger: For me I have something to clear at the port. I would have given you all the money that I have here, but I have to clear some car at the port, I have only 5,000 cedis here and you know now the port is something … soon as I clear, I’m putting it on sale and I’ll make sure it goes fast, then I’ll come back again later and pay.

Judge Quist: By Friday?

Tiger: Yes

Judge Quist: you sure?

Tiger: Hmmmm. I know he’s in your hands now, anything you say.

Judge Quist: What if I release him on Friday and I don’t see you again?

Tiger: No, no sir, it can’t be possible.

Gyata: Or my Lord you’ll adjourn it to next week?

Judge Quist: Ah okay, next week would be.

Tiger: I said before Friday from here

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Gyata: So before Friday

Tiger: I’m going to the port now.

Gyata: Today is Tuesday.

Tiger: Yes

Gyata: It means maybe by Thursday?

Tiger: Yes. It’s a Toyota and you know how Toyota cars… some people like them fast fast so please, I’m begging you.

Judge Quist: Oh I’ll get him off, I’ll get him off the hook on Friday but everything would depend on you.

Tiger: Yes sir, I understand.

Judge Quist: It’s not a big deal. I’ve read the docket and I know how to go around it, hmm?

Tiger: Yes sir.

Gyata: So the pressure is now on you so at least by Thursday (Tiger cuts in)

Tiger: As I’m here now, I’m even shaking, I’m getting sick…

Gyata: By Thursday come and then do the proper (Judge Quist cuts in)

Judge Quist: How many years has he spent there?

Gyata: How many years has he spent there so far?

Tiger: Actually I didn’t (Judge Quist cuts in)

Judge Quist: You can’t tell.

Tiger: I didn’t hear the case early oo.

Judge Quist and Gyata: Hmmmm

Tiger: I didn’t hear the case early because I was trying to reach him and I was trying to call him; no one is willing to tell me and this one nobody knowswhat I’m doing now.

Judge Quist: What is he to you?

Tiger: Like a cousin but …

Judge Quist: He’s your cousin?

Tiger: Yes

Judge Quist: Okay it’s a deal.

Tiger: Thank you sir.

Judge Quist: So you have to fulfill your side of the bargaining, okay?

Tiger: Okay sir.

Judge Quist: I’ll let him off but he shouldn’t try it again, if we catch him again: trouble.

Tiger: Thank you sir.

Judge Quist: Talk to him

Tiger: Okay sir

Judge Quist: When he comes back, talk to him.

Tiger: Okay sir, thank you sir.

Judge Quist: Okay.

Tiger: I’ll like to leave sir.

Judge Quist: Alright. So we’ll see you before Friday.

Tiger: Okay sir, thank you.

As per the computations, we owed the learned judge GHc 6,000.00 and he (Gyata) a cool GHc 4000.00. We were however insisting that the GHc 2000.00 be given to the judge because he would not do our bidding if we failed him.
However, no amount of assurances would satisfy a visibly disappointed Gyata; he called the judge again. As usual, the man appeared again in his black Toyota saloon car, same procedure as Tiger took back seat and Gyata sat in front with Judge Quist.
It was here that we got to know, Justice Quist would not compromise on taking everything before delivering judgment. In other words, there was no crediting here. Read on:

Fight Over Cash To Judge Quist, Gyata Bares Teeth

Tiger: So I had to call someone to come and give me some money and the money is not even up to GHc 5,000.00, it’s only GHc 2,000.00 the person brought me, so from here I’ve to go home and see what I can do. It’s once and for all.

Gyata: You know with these kind of things…

Tiger: It’s once and for all.

Gyata: You don’t do this kind of things in pieces or whatever, this is the point the man wants, to give the sentence tomorrow so that things will end. If we keep doing this in pieces… one thing you shouldn’t forget is that some of us, we don’t think about people too much, you follow my point?

Tiger: Then you should have changed the location.

Gyata: No, it’s not about the location, it’s about you working on time, when we fix a time to meet here, then you go according to the time.

Tiger: About your car too, I have contacted some guy, he said he can get it for you but the amount, you will know how to talk about the amount.

Gyata: So what are we going to do now?

Tiger: I know we still have to give you your thing before we go to …

Gyata: Yes of course, you know that one, you know this kind of things, you don’t do … I’ve learnt certain lessons in this kind of things, that is why I’m very cautious and careful this time when… (even me) I’ve even stopped helping people because of this kind of tactics that they play especially after they get whatever they want and all that.
His tirade veered into another case – a financial case before the court – whereas we thought that would take Gyata’s mind off track, he soon refocused the discussion.

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Gyata: And you say it’s how much?

Tiger: Just GHc 2,000.00.

Gyata: Then what will happen is that, if only you’re going to bring this and tell him that by the close of the day, you’ll have to come towards Tema.

Tiger: He also lives in Tema?

Gyata: But you will tell him that by the afternoon or whatever, you will be ready with the rest. Then I’ll tell him that okay you let me get his balance to reach him maybe tomorrow morning before he delivers the judgment, then I have to get my money…

Tiger: I’m cool because I can’t take this money anywhere, I have to go here, go here.

Gyata: Because if the cash or the balance and all those things haven’t come, because this thing should be once and for all thing. So what do you want to do with this one?

Tiger: When we go, then we give it to him for the mean time so that he will know that we came with something; okay? I’m begging you.

Gyata: Honestly, I don’t do this kind of thing… so what time will you meet me?

Tiger: From here, when I get to the guy, I’ll give you a call…. I know you’re not happy with it but you try and….
Judge Quist’s Quest for cash, “Pay Or I Will Not Deliver Judgment”

Gyata: He just came.

Tiger: Let me apologize for delaying.

Judge Quist: No problem.

Gyata: I told him that some of us don’t wait for people too much like this, and secondly, he’s saying that when he went to the bank, the person has given him a cheque to go and cash the money. When they got to the bank there, they’re saying that the person himself should come so what he did was that, in order not to disappoint or whatever, he organized some Ghc 2,000 so that by the close of the day, he will … this is what he’s saying.

Tiger: I understand sir, I understand.

Gyata: And I told him this kind of thing, you don’t do any go come, go come. He said he wants to check on the guy, he said he bought his car.

Tiger: The one that I told you I would clear from the port.

Gyata: So I told him if that is the case, then in the course of the day, he should get to me, then we will see what happens before tomorrow morning.

Judge Quist: Okay, you get the money, and bring it tomorrow. Okay?

Gyata: Tomorrow morning, yes, I told him, have you heard it?

Tiger: Yes sir, I have; this is the GHc 2,000.

Judge Quist: You deal with the matter once and for all.

Tiger: It’s not in a band so if you can count it for me.

Gyata: You bring it.

Judge Quist: So you heard what I said?

Tiger: Yes, I’ve heard you.

Judge Quist: Otherwise, tomorrow I won’t deliver. First thing tomorrow morning okay?

Tiger: Okay.

Gyata: So you get to me then I will get to my lord before tomorrow morning so that he can do this thing once and for all.

Judge Quist: Just do it once and for all then we free the guy. I have all the power and I will free him, so no fear.

Tiger: Thank you.

Judge Quist: So I’ll see you tomorrow.

Tiger: Thank you.

Tiger managed to raise the rest of the GHc 4,000.00 and a thousand for him before calling for a meeting with Quist. This would be the last meeting before the judgment day.

Typical of him, Quist was around to grab his last Ghc 4,000.00 cash at the Afia hotel and with that, gave an assurance that he was going to deliver his part of the contract.

Tiger managed to raise the rest of the GHc 4,000.00 and a thousand for him before calling for a meeting with Quist. This would be the last meeting before the judgment day.

Typical of him, Quist was around to grab his last Ghc 4,000.00 cash at the Afia hotel and with that, gave an assurance that he was going to deliver his part of the contract.

Source:|Ghana by Anas Aremeyaw Anas