Seven of the 12 High Court judges implicated in the scandalous judicial corruption documentary by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas have been suspended with immediate effect.
Their suspension by the acting President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur follows the establishment of a prima facie case of “stated misbehaviour against them by the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood.
They are Justices John AjetNasam, Ivy Heward-Mills, Francis K. Opoku, Kofi Essel Mensah, Ernest Obimpeh, Kwame OheneEssel and GilberAyisi Addo.
A statement issued Monday night and signed by Judicial Secretary Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong said their suspension is in pursuant of Article 146(10)(b) of the country’s constitution.
The statement said the Chief Justice has suspended the determination of a prima facie case in respect of Justice Mustapha Logoh and Justice Uuter P. Dery as a result of pending legal action against the producers of the documentary.
“The proceedings against Justice Charles Quist have been deferred on grounds of ill-health, following a medical report submitted by his physician on his state of health,” the statement added.
According to the statement, Anas has written to the Chief Justice to the effect that the inclusion of a High Court judge, Justice Daniel Obeng in his petition was an error.
“According to Tiger Eye PI, further investigations indicate that the judge they dealt with was rather Emmanuel Opare, a Circuit Court judge. Our records at the Judicial Service have confirmed that at the time the investigations was conducted by Tiger Eye PI, in August 2015, Justice Daniel Obeng had been elevated to the High Court and transferred to the Northern Region,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the statement said the Chief Justice has requested the Attorney General to provide a State Attorney to assist the Committee in its work while a Deputy Director at the Judicial Service will serve as the Secretary to the Committee.
In the latest investigation piece yet, premiered in Accra on September 22, more than 180 judicial staff, including 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 judicial staff in a sex scandal.
Anas as per the country’s constitution, petitioned President John Dramani Mahama, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General to begin processes to remove the judges found in the video to be taking bribes and extorting money from litigants
Per Article 146 (4) of the Constitution, a Judicial Disciplinary Committee was set up to investigate the allegations against the High Court judges implicated to establish a prima facie case.
The Committee, which came up against legal action from some of the embattled judges, is made up of three superior court judges, a Supreme Court judge, two judges of the Court of Appeal appointed by the Judicial Council and two others appointed on the advice of the Council of State.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah/3news.com/Ghana