Bribery: Ghana judges fail to stop court pro­ceed­ings

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Kate Da Costa, Ac­cra, Ghana

An Ac­cra High Court in Ghana has dis­missed a case filed by 14 High Court judges and mag­is­trates seek­ing to halt dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings against them.

The High Court judges and mag­is­trates, who were fin­gered in a bribery scan­dal, had jointly sought an or­der re­strain­ing the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee set up by the Chief Jus­tice and the Ju­di­cial Coun­cil from in­ves­ti­gat­ing them.

They ar­gued that the five-mem­ber dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee was not the proper body to try them for mis­con­duct.

But the High Court presided over by Jus­tice Gertrude Torko­rnu dis­missed their ap­pli­ca­tion, say­ing that the court could not in­ter­fere in the Ju­di­cial Coun­cil’s ad­min­is­tra­tive func­tions.

The of­fice of the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral in its pre­lim­i­nary ob­jec­tion said the plain­tiffs’ ac­tion lacked merit and there­fore should be dis­missed.

The plain­tiffs had con­tended that un­less the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee em­pan­elled by the Chief Jus­tice of the Re­pub­lic was re­strained, they were at risk of be­ing re­moved from of­fice, based on the rec­om­men­da­tions of the illegal dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee un­der rather du­bi­ous and dis­turb­ing cir­cum­stances.

With the rul­ing of the court, the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee could con­tinue with its en­quiry into the bribery al­le­ga­tion.

The com­mit­tee shelved sit­ting pend­ing the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the ac­tion by the ju­di­cial of­fi­cers.

Mean­while, another Ac­cra High Court has dis­missed the con­tempt pro­ceed­ings ini­ti­ated by one of the judges, Jus­tice Paul Dery against five jour­nal­ists. The de­fen­dants were Anas Are­meyaw Anas, two ed­i­tors of the New Cru­sad­ing Guide news­pa­per, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Media Foun­da­tion for West Africa, Su­laimana Braimah and the CEO of Starr FM, Kwabena Anakye Ad­disi.

PHOTO:

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari (right) with Se­nate Pres­i­dent Bukola Saraki, dur­ing the 55th In­de­pen­dent An­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions at the Pres­i­den­tial Villa Abuja yesterday. Felix Onig­binde.

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