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Judicial officials asked to avoid corruption

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Mr Justice Alex Opoku-Acheampong, the Judicial Secretary, on Wednesday charged staff of the Judicial Service to refrain from activities that could make them corrupt.

He said management of the Service would not hesitate to fire any staff caught engaging in any activity that could give the institution a bad image.

Mr Justice Opoku-Acheapong was speaking at a durbar organized by the Judicial Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG), to discuss a recent publication, which labeled the Judicial Service as the second most corrupt public institution in Ghana.

Monday, April 18, 2011, edition of the Daily Graphic published a U.S State Department Report 2010 on Human Rights in Ghana, which indicted majority of state agencies for corruption.

The report cited the Police personnel and judicial officials as being the most corrupt, explaining that the Police would set up a barrier to extort monies from motorists whiles judicial officials accepted bribes to expedite or postpone cases or otherwise loose records.

Mr Justice Opoku-Acheampong said it was unfortunate that the Judicial Service found itself among the top most corrupt state agencies in the country.

He said even though some of the allegations against judicial officials may not be true, management of the Service was working hard to ensure that the problem was solved.

Mr Justice Opoku-Acheampong cited instances in which some staff of the service had taken bribes in the name of judges and would also not serve litigants with notices unless they were tipped.

He charged the staff of the Service to do away with indiscipline and insubordination to their seniors.

Mr Justice Opoku-Acheampong asked the staff not use poor remuneration as a justification to exhort monies from people adding “The fact that we are not well paid does not mean we should engage in corruption”

Mr Justice Iddrisu Abdallah, a High Court Judge and Chairman of the Ethics and Integrity Committee of the Judicial Service, said the objective for the durbar was to discuss pertinent problems facing the judicial service and what should be done to correct the negative perception about the service.

He charged the staff of the judicial service to stop protecting bail contractors who he said were becoming a nuisance for the court.

Mr Felix Yaw Quansah, General Secretary of JUSAG, expressed his delight at the setting up of the ethics and integrity committee, which he said would go a long way in fighting corruption in the judicial service.

He also advised the staff to desist from exhorting monies from litigants who come to court.

During question time, Mr Derrick Annan, a staff of the service called for proper internal control mechanism for the judicial service.

Another staff pleaded with the management to do something about the poor working condition of the staff, adding that if nothing was done about the situation it would be difficult to fight corruption.

Others complained about drunkenness among some staff of the service.

Source: GNA

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