3 High Court judges removed … on grounds of corruption

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has removed three High Court judges from office on grounds of bribery and corruption.

Justices Ayisi Addo, Uuter Paul Dery and Mustapha Habib Logoh were among 34 high and lower court judges including magistrates, caught receiving bribes from litigants in an earth-shaking investigation by Anas Areyaw Anas in 2015.

Their removal from office followed a recommendation by a Committee established by the Chief Justice, Sophia Abena Akuffo, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the 1992 Constitution, to investigate a complaint lodged by Anas.

A statement signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the Jubilee House, said the President has acted on the recommendations of the Committee and accordingly removed the three judges from office.

“The President, in accordance with the provisions of Article 146(9) of the Constitution, has acted on the recommendations of the Committee, as the Constitution enjoins him to do, and has, accordingly, removed the three Justices of the High Court from office on the grounds of bribery and corruption.”

The judges may face criminal prosecution as the President has directed that a copy of the Committee’s report be submitted to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service for the requisite action to be taken.

It said: “The Committee concluded that the conduct of the Justices amounted to a criminal offence under the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) as amended.

It would be recalled that a two-hour video of the judges and magistrates, some of whom were caught literally bare-chested taking money and food stuff from litigants, was premiered by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in 2015 at the Accra International Conference Centre.

Before the premiere, some of the Judges went to court to stop the video, but Anas went ahead and screened the video in Accra and subsequently in Kumasi and other places.

Justice Uuter Paul Dery and his colleagues fought the modus operandi of Anas and staged a tussle at the Supreme Court, urging their reinstatement and a possible punishment for Anas for contempt of court.

The conduct of the judges, who are expected to be neutral umpires and vanguard of democracy, drew condemnation from persons who saw the video.

Judges including Effia Serwaa Asare Botwe and others who turned down the offer from Anas and his team and threatened to jail them received applause for demonstrating exemplary judicial judgement.

The clergy, imams and religious leaders bemoaned the attitude of the judges and warned that those fighting their suspension may succeed on technicalities but cannot escape the piercing eyes of God.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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