Deemed divine, devout, decent, down-to-earth, decisive and deeply delved in law, he is dreaded even from a distance by deviants who dabble in deals detestable by dons like him. Indeed, he directs, dictates, decides and does any deed he desires in his court.
From dawn to dusk, he delves deep into deeds recorded down in the books; drinks and devours legal jurisprudence and precedents. No one who dares defy and dent the law draws near him. The despicable, he abhors with drawn swords.
Yet deep down, Dery is as despicable as the despised pickpocket in the docket and only a dunce who cannot dance to his tune, dies.
When he seems to flay his prey, despite what you hear him say, it is mere play or sheer façade for the day. Once you can pay, you need not pray; you will surely win, not may. Let not the innocent feel gay when the guilty's cash comes Dery's way. Shock awaits such at the end of the day. Though grey and bound to be clay one day, Dery without delay, dares lay at bay this celestial truth for pay.
Peter Dery J.- Accra Fast-Track High Court 3
Case: Republic vs. Kwame Dzato (Narcotics)
Money Involved: GH¢ 11,000
Connection Man: Lord Mayor (Court Guru)
Dzato was charged with possession of a narcotic substance. He was arrested by the police with 53 parcels of Indian hemp which were hidden in his car engine. He had also hidden some of the hemp under his driver's seat and in the glued compartments of the vehicle which he was driving. The extra facts are that he had cunningly 'clothed' the vehicle as a hearse. He had an obituary posted on it and had tied red and black pieces of cloth all over the vehicle to make it appear that it was being used for a funeral.
Connection Man Lord Mayor's Tactics (Hidden camera footage)
He is called Mayor, and indeed is has a mayor's command of the court premises; a high time clerk. He knows the nuances of the court maybe better than the back of his hand. He is a library of legal nuances and trickery. Mayor hardly has any time to spare; he is always on the move. From the day of the first meeting, appeared to be a big shot, a real fox.
The state seemed to be on the verge of securing a conviction when Tiger stepped into this case. The fact was that the accused - Kwame Dzato's defence did not seem to have a raised a reasonable doubt in the case of the prosecution. To be reviewed
High time Mayor however gave us numerous assurances that it was possible to circumvent the system at any stage. In the worst case scenario, Mayor disclosed that a mitigation of sentence was a sure bet.
Mayor was a smart looking clerk in court. He conducted himself with a 'lawyerly' flair, from his clothes to the way he managed the bench and bar interface.
In his words; "Ahh you Mayor, you're dealing with mayor you can't give me …. master I go bore you oo. Master I don't do business like that oo. (Me) I don't get anything when they jail somebody but it's not in my interest that somebody will be jailed, you understand me.
“So you tell them, target yourself, so that they would know what to do so that I will also do my part, you understand?" Mayor 'outdoored' great plans leading to bribing the judge when Tiger met him at the Accra mall.
He was in a t-shirt and shorts with a pair of trainers. Apparently, he had just returned from the gym, and had to rush to meet Tiger. That was the first salvo about how he did not joke at all with his time.
Mayor had a lot to say about his crooked past in deals that he had brokered with judges. He had even more to say about mitigation of sentences, but at the height of his loud - mouthed revelations was his jaw dropping 'bombs' about the behavior of some judges.
Our Mini Roadside Conference With The Lord Mayor (Hidden Camera Footage)
Mayor: (Me) I have some friends, who are into drugs, the proper drugs (trade)!
Tiger: mmmm the proper one, the hard one?
Mayor: So what he does is, he comes to criminal court, sits down, looks for somebody who has a problem, the same drug, charlie, I know definitely this one you (the judge) would jail but lower the sentence, so if it's like 15 years, the minimum sentence is not less than 10 years so then, okay, let me give him 10 or 12, the 12 is like 9 years.
Tiger: 9 years
Mayor: It's better than 15 years, its better than 20, 18, so then he goes to see the man- bring the money we're going to give to the judge. You understand?
Mayor: He knows that this one, by law, you can't change anything; what's in the evidence, the person has swallowed and vomited and those things, you can't do anything than to reduce it from maybe 15 years to 12 years. Ehh I just witnessed it, I did some for some Nigerians, they understood, the colleague one was given 18 years, another one came 20 years so you realized that Charlie, even from 5 to 12 is not easy.
Tiger: It's not easy.
Mayor: That's the way the game is.
Tiger: So I don't know if you can please fast-truck it for me so that maybe after this one, I start preparing my way back.
Mayor: With what you are telling me, if I fast-truck it and you people are not ready…
Tiger: No, I can assure you that one; even I can use my own money then later they can settle me. You understand? But I'm just telling you how, that's the agreement I agreed with them.
Mayor: So I've told you GHc 10,000 and above so just prepare, I've given you the clue so just prepare. He's (the Judge) in Takoradi. He has been transferred from my place to Takoradi so I learnt he has gone to Takoradi.
“I would have moved from here to Spintex but I just called his policeman and he said he had gone to Takoradi, I don't want to call, because when I call him, he would be like who told you I'm in Takoradi, so I just relax. From here, I would have gone there just now to tell him this and this, because Takoradi too I don't want to talk to him on phone or talk about anything, so tomorrow morning, they would come to the office, God willing. I learnt they would be coming today.
Tiger: Today, okay, so how is it going to be, so that you know the guy himself; he thinks that if I get back from this place, then I would give him the feedback so that they will go and start preparation but now ….
Mayor: Long time, what were they doing?
Tiger: You see, they contacted me that they went and saw somebody, then the person spent the money, that one is true
Mayor: He spoke to him where? At the court?
Tiger: No, I don't think it's the court, I don't think it's the court, the way the guy is telling me, because I was there when he called me and …
Mayor: I also need those information because I should know where this thing is coming from.
Tiger: Ooh it's not the court, I think it's the police, either the police or …
Mayor: So you specifically let me know before evening, I know why I'm saying that.
Mayor: So that I can put all this thing before the judge so that he would know what transpired, you know, these things so that when they are also there, they will know that people would be 'eating' in their name.
Tiger: mmm mmm, because the way he was telling me, it looks like they went and saw some people at the police….. so that one is different from your side, and I was telling them.
Mayor: But the case is being handled by a lady. The women, they're not strong like the men.
Tiger: They're not strong, I was even telling them, 'look this people, you go and you give them anything. The law is in the bosom of the judge, If anybody say something koraa and it is not in, he decides that no, this is what I'm going to do; you can't say, (anything) that's all.
Mayor: Okay, but what's the name? Your name
Mayor: Ahmed, but you know my name already.
Tiger: No, I don't know.
Mayor: But how did the person get my number without my name?
Tiger: (laughs) hahahaha, in fact, I have forgotten.
Mayor: That's the popular name, I mention my real name, you go and nobody even knows. So Ahmed, I'll be going.
Mayor took a cool GHc 100 tip which he wasn't pleased with and blunt as he was, expressed his disappointment frankly. "Ahh you Mayor, you're dealing with Mayor and you can't give me …. master I go bore you oo. Master, I don't do business like that oo."
In the evening of the same day, Lord Mayor called back with information that the trial judge had demanded double of the amount he had earlier mentioned. Peter Dery J. wanted GHc 20,000 according to Lord Mayor.
Without the judge, we proceeded to negotiate for an adjustment in the fee and finally settled on GHc 15,000 cash. This was the only route through which the accused, Kwame Dzato could get off the hook.
In the long run, Tiger raised GHc 11,000 and Lord Mayor directed that the money be brought to the court premises because it was to be handed to the judge right there.
Lord Mayor's Chop Chop Distribution Plan. (Hidden Camera Footage)
Mayor: So come and sit here, deduct the GHs 5,000. Human beings are difficult. Come and sit here, divide the GHs 5,000 then group another GHs 5,000, you get the GHs 11,500?
Tiger: Actually GHs 11,000.
Mayor: This thing I dey do ehh, but you (Tiger cuts in)
Tiger: The thing is that some is still in the bank and then I have a withdrawal limit.
Mayor: Yea, yeah
Tiger: So you know, I don't know; it would depend on how you want it. You see, they even told me that assuming this one you take me to see my Lord and then we give..! Now we're confident even that one even if you meet at our house and take it, they don't have problem (laughs) that's the issue, they believe that
Mayor: Even if I should..! I wish you could have brought them; I would f**k them. You can't go to someone's office; if you are dealing with the minister and the minister is taking 10%, you can't go to his office and give the money out. We have where to pass, you don't go direct.
If I am lying, go and ask anybody, nobody would take the money in your hands like this “da.” When they call the person, then he has the evidence, I am telling you today. But because of where you are coming from… So you come, and as I talk, come and share the (money), then we give these people's own to them then I would find where my Lord is and then we go ….
Mayor: So come and share them
“Lord Mayor places a call to someone he called Peter Dery J: "My Lord, are you in the house because the guy has brought the thing, the Kwame Dzato thing. I wanted to present it as he is there; I don't know where we can meet or should we come to the house?
“It looks as if he himself wanted to see you personally; I don't know. Ehhh maybe you…! But what I want to do, I just want him to see me doing the work, that is all I want, then we just return, so I would pass through the same route: where the other time I used.
“Ok, so, but when I'm coming, I'll call you for proper direction. Ok, thank you. Bye!
You see, it's like he himself he dey get angry.
Tiger: I've done the separation.
Mayor: Give me my 11. That one is mine, it is very important. This be how much, thousand?
Tiger: Yeah that's thousand!
Mayor: I thought you said GHc 1,100?
Tiger: Thousand, one hundred.
Mayor: Ehhn! Thousand and one like this?
Tiger: No, no I don't understand; it thousand one hundred or thousand ten cedis?
Mayor: Is it eleven? Thousand one…you it's ok, it's ok
Tiger: That one you and I would settle it later, so you don't worry!
Mayor: So this is the eleven?
Tiger: Yes, the eleven- the one on the ten thousand.
Mayor: Let me pocket it first before anything. Then the other five thousand separated?
Mayor: Let me find out where he is and then from here we move there immediately. If not, you, like charley, this foolish thing, I won't even do.
Tiger: I just want you to help me so that maybe next time…
Mayor agreed that we give GHc 5,000 to the judge and GHc 5,000 to some guys at the Attorney General's Department while he slipped GHc 1,000 into the top left inner pocket of his jacket.
It turned out that the Attorney General's GHc 5,000 was a phantom payment that ended up in his own pocket. Mayor ended up with GHc 6,000 and we would prove how and why. It took his boss to expose the foxy side of mayor.
Same day, we made our way to the home of Justice Dery at the outskirts of Accra. Lord Mayor was in so much haste that it turned out to be a brief meeting for him to show Tiger that he had indeed worked for his portion.
Face-To-Face Meeting With Dery To Pay Cash (Hidden Camera Footage)
Peter Dery: You went and took some other way, one that is rather towards the mall? Yeah you are welcome.
Tiger: Thank you!
(Mayor hands over the GHc 5,000 bribe to Justice Peter Dery)
Mayor: We'll not waste time because of…
Peter Dery: Okay!
Peter Dery: Do you speak English?
Tiger: I speak English my Lord.
Peter Dery: Okay yeah so we'll sort it out, don't worry.
Tiger: Okay, thank you my Lord.
Mayor: My Lord, tomorrow.
Mayor to Tiger: Now you make satisfied?
Mayor: So that be the judge.
Mayor: You have never seen him before?
Dery's Waterloo Meeting Where He Spilt The Beans (Hidden Camera Footage)
Now that we knew the home of Peter Dery J., we decided to ascertain the truth about how much he had requested, given that Lord Mayor had unilaterally negotiated and reviewed the bribe fee.
We got to know of the judge's love for livestock, so we bought a fat sheep and headed for his residence without Lord Mayor's knowledge. An extensive chat left Peter Dery with shock about the 'fox' he was working with and for us, the real men behind the masks.
Tiger: Okay, okay! But the balance as I said tomorrow, whatever be the case, I'll communicate with Mayor. Because he even called me this afternoon and I told him I was going to prepare your sheep and his sheep, I'm giving him some too!
Peter Dery: Okay, you're also giving him…!
Tiger: Ehhe but I told him that the balance I'll bring it tomorrow because he told me that day that, the rest of that money is for you ehhe because he told…
Peter Dery: Why? You gave him some money?
Tiger: He took GHs 6,000.
Peter Dery: He took GHs 6,000 from you?
Tiger: GHs 6,000, yes my lord!
Peter Dery: I see!
Tiger: And said we should bring you the GHs 5,000 ehhhe but …
Peter Dery: Whatever you want to bring, just bring it here directly to me and tell him.
Tiger: Okay, okay my Lord, I'll do that.
Peter Dery: You bring it here and tell him that you have brought it to me so when you bring it and tell him before I'll tell him. These our boys, they're not correct ooo (Peter Dery and Tiger laugh) hahaha
Tiger: That's why I just decided to bring this sheep.
Peter Dery: Because what he told me was that ehh you were saying that you were hot so you could not get much, blabla a long story
Tiger: In fact, he said you said GHs 20,000 so I said he should beg you on my behalf because Kwame Dzato, since he was kept there, the mother too is sick so as the family members, we just put heads together to help him out and actually (me) I was in Dubai when the thing happened so when I came down, mostly they're relying on me!
Peter Dery: Okay!
Tiger: mhhm, but I have some small business that I'm doing, apart from this sheep I'm also running the home-used things at Dzorwulu hmmh!
Peter Dery: Okay!
Tiger: So I told him that I can get money from that place to come and..! Then he said okay, then you said GHs15,000 will be okay, then I said okay if my lord would help me to get Kwame Dzato out of it, as for that one dieee, the GHs15,000 too I'll also try to bring it. So I brought GHs11,000 that very day, I told him before I brought it and he said you said I should give him GHs6,000 and then we bring you the other GHs5,000, the one we brought. So when we came, he just took the GHs5,000 and said we should come and give you that one and left the GHs6,000 in his car. So I didn't understand (Both talking at the same time!)
Peter Dery: Exactly, you are not the one doing the case so what work are you doing that you're collecting that money and even before God and man, I never asked him to tell you to bring me GHs20,000. He came and said that you people…; the boy I mean - he has been inside for a while and now his relatives have some help
So he was talking to them, and later on, he came and told me that he talked ahh, you people say you don't have money so what you could get was GHs5,000, that's what he came and told me.
I said well, me my wife is from the Volta region and I've worked in Hohoe before so I have myself at sympathy for those people, I cannot be making this.. …
So I said if that is the case, whatever you people think that you have, you should bring it. So yesterday, he called me and said okay, the people said it's the GHc 5,000 that they have got so they'll come and then finally, you know, they came!
You see, so if he has successfully even collected GHc 6,000, he has not told me, so you just bring that one to me, I'm doing the matter and then later on you just tell him that..! You can even say that well, you have tried or you cannot get
Tiger: Yeah I'll tell him.
Peter Dery: I'm delivering; he doesn't do any work so why should he collect that money, for what! For what work done?! And that is what….! Some people came, he collected some money from some people and then the thing didn't go their way it was supposed to go); they went and hot him there, he had to refund the money. I mean this kind of attitude
Tiger: Ehhh it's not right.
Peter Dery: That is what he's been doing, that's what he's been doing.
Tiger: Okay, I'll just bring the balance and tell him that oh, I couldn't get it so he should tell my lord that I couldn't get it.
Peter Dery: And you've collected GHs 6,000, what work have you done for that? You know, I mean it's not good, not at all.
Tiger: Yes my lord!
Connection Man (Mayor) Cons His Man, (Dery). Dog-Bite-Dog Saga (Hidden Camera Footage)
The fight for the last tranche of bribe had intensified between Mayor and Dery. While Mayor was consistently requesting for the cash, Dery was resolute that it should be paid to himself because he is the one who does the work: reading, analysing and writing the judgment. It became a tug of war. Mayor was calling and threatening to collect the rest of the money while Dery thought his attitude was unfair to him. Eventually, Dery got the cash but not before these interesting exchanges:
Peter Dery: Good evening. How is it?
Tiger: I'm fine sir.
Peter Dery: You are welcome!
Tiger: Thank you. I brought the goat my Lord.
Peter Dery: Ahhh, did he call you?
Tiger: Ehhh today, he called me more than twenty times ehhh and in fact, now he has taken the money, taken some from my brother, in fact to the extent that the balance left is GHs1,000 but he's still calling and I said no I won't bring it.
Peter Dery: I mean he is such a rascal, he's a rascal. If I had known from the very beginning, I would have stopped him, I would have told you that was what he was doing.
Tiger: Ehhhh! This is the balance. (Tiger hands over the balance of GHs1,000 to JHC Peter Dery)
Peter Dery: He's a first class rascal.
Peter Dery: Hmmm, it's just that me, I didn't get to know early.
So as I pleaded my lord (Peter Dery cuts in)
Peter Dery: Yes!
Tiger: We just want some favors from you with the case.
Peter Dery: Okay, there's no issue, there's no problem just that I think…! When is it coming on?
Tiger: It seems 4th or so. The last adjourned date I made it late to the court.
Peter Dery: I think its 22nd August or 29th August, one of them.
Tiger: Ahhh yeah, yeah it seems 22nd (Peter Dery cuts in)
Peter Dery: Either 22nd, I think its 29th.
Tiger: 29th August, mmmm.
Peter Dery: I think its 22nd or 29th. Emmm okay I'll check tomorrow and see but it is either 22nd or 29th August.
Peter Dery: You have no problem to worry about.
Peter Dery: It's this boy who has just (Tiger cuts in)
Tiger: But is he going to be set free?
Peter Dery: Yes I'll set him free.
Tiger: Okay, thank you my lord. We'll be very grateful, my lord.
Peter Dery: As I said, me I worked in Hohoe - from 2000-2004, I was in Hohoe. I'll set him free.
Tiger: Okay my lord.
Peter Dery: Mmm there's no cause for alarm.
Tiger: Okay, okay my lord. Thank you very much my lord. Okay!
And with that, Kwame Dzato is walking free and its charge hangs around the neck of Peter Dery while the state attorney and investigators who worked tirelessly to prove his guilt, still live with a loss on their records - a loss engineered by Peter Dery and Lord Mayor.
We tried to speak to Justice Dery for his reaction but he did not comment.
He is one of the most respectable High Court judges. He was revered when he sat as the first judge at the Human Rights court.
Justice Peter Dery sat on many Electoral commissions and other landmark cases.
While on the bench, he has had the opportunity to attend several international courses including some at Fordham University in the United States.
The most expensive investigation by Tiger Eye (Undercover – 'Ghana In The Eyes of God') brings to light, the unscrupulous activities of over 170 staff and judges within the borders of our country. Several categories of people were caught red-handed on hidden camera footage, taking bribes from desperate clients.