Call it “A night of a thousand laughs” and you may not be far from right!
That was the atmosphere at the Accra International Conference Centre yesterday, when several hundreds of Ghanaians and people from all walks of life trooped to the place to watch the alleged biggest judicial bribery scandal that has rocked the country.
The anxious spectators who had yearned for the public showing of the video when the scandal broke out a couple of weeks ago, could not hold themselves but collapse with uncontrollable laughter at the exciting scenes in the video.
Of great interest was how the Tiger Eye PI circumvented the judiciary by infiltrating its ranks through their clerks .
The earth-shaking video which exposed deep rooted corruption in Ghana’s most revered institution, showed how some Justices of the High Court allegedly took paltry sums of money from litigants to twist the arm of justice.
The screening of the much anticipated video which catalogued incidents of High and Circuit judges, as well as magistrates receiving bribes from litigants left the spectators in utmost shock and bewilderment.
While some of the spectators managed to put up smiles as a sign of diplomacy, others could not hide their indignation by condemning the judges, amidst insults.
Ministers of state, government appointees, the clergy and members of the diplomatic corps, among others turned out in their numbers to watch the video which was being screened for the first time.
The screening took place despite attempts made by some of the judges implicated in the scandal to stop it as they filed a number of injunctions to restrain Anas and his media partners. But they gave up yesterday and withdrew their application at the eleventh hour.
Following that development, the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Gertrude Torkonu paved the way for the programme to take off as scheduled.
The judge dismissed the interlocutory injunction application after the counsel for Justice Paul Uuter Dery, who vehemently opposed the public screening of the video, withdrew it.
Titled “Ghana in the Eyes of God: The Epic of Justice”, the three-hour footage depicted how justice is sold to the highest bidder.
What was most shocking was the ridiculous amount charged by court clerks, judicial staff, police and prison officers to influence judgement.
In all, money remained the common denominator in bending the arm of justice.
The Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council, bemoaned corruption in the judiciary and advised that steps should be taken to clean the system.
Describing the undercover work as the biggest in history, Professor Asante said “injustice undermines peace and stability”.
He said those judges whose integrity and reputation remained unsoiled deserved commendation, adding that the rule of law should permeate the fabric of the country’s democracy to ensure peace.
By Malik Sullemana