Three of the high court judges who were accused of taking bribes to influence cases before them have teamed up against the country’s Chief Justice for allegedly acting unconstitutionally in a case before the Supreme Court.
The judges who are fighting their impeachment say the Chief Justice instructed a private legal practitioner, Kizito Beyuo, to represent her in one of their cases before the Supreme Court contrary to what is prescribed in Article 88(1)(5) of the constitution.
According to the judges – Justices Paul Uuter Dery, Mustapha Habib Logoh and Gilbert Ayisi Addo- a true and proper interpretation of that provision requires the Chief Justice is represented by the Attorney General as lawyer in all civil matters against the former.
They consequently want the Supreme Court invoke its original jurisdiction to declare as unconstitutional the acts by the CJ and the legal practitioner.
Again, they are seeking a declaration that Chief Justice and the lawyer’s acts are null and void and in contravention of the provisions of the constitution.
“A declaration that the conduct of Kizito Beyuo in entering appearance for the Chief Justice…in suit NoJ1/2/2017 in this court is null and void and as same is in contravention of Article 88(1) & (5) of the 1992 constitution” prayed the court.
They also argued that the said appearance is alien to the rules of practice and procedure of the Supreme Court as prescribed in the Constitutional Instrument (C.I) 61.
Consequently, the judges want the Supreme Court to nullify the entry of appearance for and on behalf of the Chief Justice by the private legal practioner.
Scandalous bribery in the Judiciary
Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in September 2015 released a video documentary on the investigation which showed more than 100 judicial staff including court clerks and 34 judges at the country’s High Courts, District and Magistrate courts taking bribes from litigants to compromise justice delivery in cases before the various courts.
The three-hour edited video, which is the result of a two-year painstaking investigation into the judiciary by the award winning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, triggered a number of law suit against him, his Tiger Eye PI investigation team and other individuals.
Some of the High Court judges indicted in the corruption quagmire initially filed a motion in a bid to stop the public screening of the video at the Accra International Conference Centre but that failed. But that was just the beginning of a number of suits to come.
Currently, Anas is caught in a legal web with some of the judges, including Justice UP Derry who has filed multiple cases from the High Court to the Supreme Court.
At least 25 of the judges implicated in the scandal have been dismissed from the Judicial Service in accordance with regulation 27 (2) of the Judicial Service Regulation 27 (2) after they were found guilty of stated misconduct.