By Frank Amponsah
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has suspended four (4) High Court Judges for their involvement in bribery and corruption whilst dispensing their duties.
Their suspension was upon the advice of the Judicial Council, given in accordance with Article 146 (10) (b) of the Constitution.
The four judges are Mr. Justice Uuter Paul Dery, Mr. Justice Mustapha Logoh, Mr. Justice Gilbert Ayisi Addo and Mr. Justice Charles Quist.
In a statement issued from the Presidency, it was stated that their suspension follows the establishment of a prima facie case against them by the Committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate alleged acts of bribery and corruption against certain persons, including the four Justices, as contained in the 29th August, 2015 petition by Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist.
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has, by letter dated Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 notified each of the four Justices of the decision.
It could be recalled that in September 2015, thirty-four Ghanaian judges faced impeachment over an exposé that hit the country’s judiciary entangling them in a damning corruption scandal.
The high profile judges including, Justice John Ajet-Nassam, a High Court Judge, who freed Alfred Agbesi Woyome in the controversial GHC51 million judgment debt scandals, have been videotaped and audio recorded in separate conversations with suspects or persons acting as agents of suspects before them to compromise big cases.
The over six months’ painstaking investigations by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas was released in full.
Some of the judges were caught red-handed taking bribes of all sorts including goats, sheep, cats, dogs, yams and money, have been sanctioned and others sacked with forfeiture of their end of many years service emoluments.
In what has been described as the “biggest scandal ever to hit Ghana’s judicial service,” Anas had presented hardcore evidence and followed it up with a petition which led to the setting up of a committee to look into these allegations of corruption and bribery.
In 2016, two more High court judges cited in the judicial corruption scandal have been removed from office effective. The two are Justice Kofi Essel Mensah and Justice Francis K. Opoku were removed from post following recommendations by the committee formed to investigate allegations of “stated misbehavior” leveled against them.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that about 20 of the lower court judges have been removed from office.
Since the expose some 21 lower court judges and 19 judicial service staff, have been fired for their roles in the scandal.