Suspended High Court judge, Justice UP Dery, has petitioned the Chief Justice to remove a Court of Appeal judge from hearing any of the cases he has filed seeking to exonerate himself from the judicial corruption scandal.
According to the embattled judge, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo who was assigned to hear all cases on the scandal at the High Court, has demonstrated a possible bias in some of the cases he has filed against investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, his company and other people.
Justice Torkornoo, he said, has “already assessed me as an untruthful person,” adding “It stands to reason with respect, your ladyship, that her impartiality in handling any of my suits is very much in doubt.”
He cited some instances in two of his suits where Justice Torkornoo, who he has already sued for contempt of court in the Supreme Court, showed she will not be fair in the handling of his cases at the High Court.
“I have come to the unfortunate realization that I would get an impartial trial before her ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo for the reason that the latter has exhibited or demonstrated a real likelihood of bias in the handling of my cases, Justice Dery stated in his petition dated January 21.
In one of his cases in which he was seeking injunction against Anas’ Tiger Eye PI from screening the investigative video on which more than 180 judicial staff including High Court judges were captured allegedly taking bribes, Justice Torkornoo exhibited a likelihood of bias
He said on the date of hearing, Tiger Eye had already shown the said vide, thus rendering his motion moot, noting that as a result, “neither my lawyer nor I went to court”. He claimed on that day, Justice Torkornoo acknowledged the fact that the case has been rendered moot and went ahead to dismissed it.
He said Justice Torkorrnoo, “then awarded heavy cost of GHC5,00 against me and ordered that the cost should be paid before I bring any other motion”
In another instance, he filed a contempt application which was fixed for hearing on October 12, 2015 but “On the 28th September 2015, this motion was called without notice to me or my lawyer . The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents had not been served with the motion.”
That, notwitsthanding, Justice Torkornoo went ahead to hear the application and dismissed it and in her ruling.
But Justice Dery stated in the petition that a judge in the exercise of discretion in a matter, needs to avert his or her mind to Article 296(a) and (b) of the 1992 constitution, noting Justice Torkornoo failed to do so
“With respect your ladyship, this is evidence of arbitrariness, capricious or bias as a result of either resentment, prejudice or personal dislike,” he claimed
Again, Justice Dery claimed that Justice Torkornoo in her affidavit in opposition to an application for contempt he filed at the Supreme Court, exhibited bias against him.
“She deposed in several paragraphs of her affidavit that I ‘have reckless disregard for truth’ and that the Supreme Court should “take steps to restore the dignity of the court and administration of justice from the barrage of untruths and unwarranted applications,” he said in a petition.
He concluded: “I therefore pray that in an overall interest of Justice, you use your powers to remove her ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo from my cases and replace her with a different judge”.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com