In a press statement issued today in Accra, the Council acknowledges that while the prevalence of corruption has always been brought to its attention in the past, the revelations contained in Anas’s video have deepened the fears and concerns of the Council.
Anas hasn’t written or released anything yet about his forthcoming video that focused on Ghana’s judiciary.
The journalist only made reference to his yet to be broadcast work at an event organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa where he said the revelation would shake the very foundation of Ghana’s democracy.
The Council has so far suspended 22 judges and magistrates following petitions by the journalist.
Anas has made two petitions to the Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Wood on August 31, 2015. According to the Council, one was in respect of 12 High Court Judges and the other was in respect of 22 Circuit Court Judges and Magistrates.
“The petition on the Superior Court Judges was addressed to the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama through the Chief Justice in accordance with Article 146 of the Constitution requesting him to initiate impeachment proceedings against the named Judges,” the statement said.
The statement also indicated that the Chief Justice on September 1, 2015 forwarded the petitions to the President who had replied and directed her to follow due process and bring the matter to its logical conclusion.
The Council subsequently constituted a five-member Disciplinary Committee which finally decided that the 22 Judges and Magistrates should submit responses to the allegations of corruption against them and they have done so.
“On receipt of their responses, the 22 Judges and Magistrates have accordingly been suspended with effect from Thursday September 10, 2015,” the statement said.
The Council, according to the statement has also instituted the necessary investigative processes to identify, for further disciplinary actions, “other court officials who may have collaborated in these alleged acts of grave misconduct.”
Some of the culprits have also been linked to sex scandals in the video, the result of a two-year investigation.
In conclusion the statement signed by the Judiciary Secretary, Justice Alex B. Opoku-Acheampong, said the Council reckons that the perception or actuality of corruption in the Judiciary undermines confidence in the institution and cannot be tolerated to continue in any shape or form, “and hence the need to act with utmost dispatch,” it said.
Meanwhile, the following Judges whose names are listed below, are reported to have been captured in both the video and audio recordings. They are; Justice Ajet Nassam, Justice Paul Dery, Justice Charles Quist, Justice Essel Mensah, Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, Justice Ernest Obimpeh, Justice Yaw Ansu-Gyeabour, Justice Ayisi Addo, Justice Mohammed Iddrisu, Justice Flex Yaw Badu, Justice Kwame Ohene Essel and Justice Heward Mills.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi