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09.10.2015 Special Report

Undercover Ghana In The Eyes of God (10)

.........When I Testified Before My Cash And Carry Lord
By The new Crusading guide
Undercover Ghana In The Eyes of God (10)
LISTEN OCT 9, 2015

Anas Aremeyaw Anas Reports From Bolga Circuit Court

On his table the miniature Ghana flag is flapping feebly from the fresh breeze that is filtering free through the windows. The Coat of Arms hangs firmly on his office wall as if he is flaunting his unflinching patriotism. I sat watching his Lordship reclined in his chair and relaxing from the hardship of the day's work. He looked grave as if in worship. But to me, he was as fake as a Pharisee in courtship.

He was stationed in Ghana's Upper East regional capital, Bolgatanga. From, there he commandeered justice delivery as best as he could. Sitting through proceedings in his court, one could see that he cut a very stern figure.

His depth in the law could not be underestimated while his appreciation of issues (civil and criminal) was admirable and deserving of applause. He came across as a very fair arbiter between parties, conducting proceedings with flair and leaving behind no blurred lines.

We saw him grill a witness in court and at a point one could not be mistaken to presume that the judge was at the scene of the crime.

Later in an interaction, he revealed how he managed to read almost accurately, the body language and thoughts of litigants, prosecutors and even legal practitioners. He was a psychology student before enrolling for a Master's Degree in Law.

A blend of both fields had clearly made him a very strong judge. His handling of proceedings made his court one of the places that Tiger remembered most through this investigation. In all of this, there was work to be done.

How To Bribe A Judge To Free A Notorious Motorbike Thief

The accused person had stolen a motorbike and was arrested before being arraigned before court. As the court processes were ongoing and especially seeing that the case was going to go against the accused, Tiger contacted the accused on the possibility of going to see the trial judge.

The accused knew the house of the judge and so led Tiger on a sunny Sunday afternoon to go and see the judge and seek his help in dismissing since the case was not going well for him.

The ensuing conversation sums up how just one meeting with this admirable judge changed the complexion of a case; how a Ghc 1,000 'handshake' shook the very foundation of all otherwise solid case.

Judge Sunu: Big men you are welcome

Tiger: Fine thank you sir.

Judge Sunu: Yes

Tiger: Good evening my lord

Judge Sunu: Good evening how are you?

Tiger: Fine sir

Judge Sunu: you are?

Tiger: I'm Bismark

Judge Sunu: Bismark what?

Tiger: Bismark Kikah

Tiger2: Apaana Peter

Judge Sunu: Apaana Peter

Tiger2: Yes my lord

Tiger3: Ishmael Hussein

Judge Sunu: Ismael what?

Tiger3: Ismael Hussein

Judge Sunu: Yes what can I do for you?

Tiger: We came to see you.

Judge Sunu: See me?

Tiger: Yes my lord

Judge Sunu: (laughs) hehehehehmmmmmm, I'm not too sure if I want to see anybody anyway but you sit down.

Tiger: Good evening once again.

Judge Sunu: Good evening, how're you?

Tiger: Fine thank you sir.

Judge Sunu: You can see I'm just enjoying the Sunday from church and you've come so whatever it is let's share.

Tiger: Okay. My lord I'm doing a story. I'm having serious issue at the court then more of my brothers too and my case is like getting far and then my brothers said unless we come then we see how best you can do about it so I'm just coming to speak to you as I'm going too whatever that come I'm with you so I've just come to (judge cuts in)

Judge Sunu: What is your case stealing?

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: They say you've done what:

Tiger: My lord it was, I was in a truck with someone, my master was calling for me then I was with someone then we have a fight with him so the person, the friend of my that I'm working with, his friend brought the motor to me at my house and that day I was not in the house around evening the he brought the motor to my mother that if I come

Judge Sunu: Ahhhaa at where your…

Tiger: Yeah at north so after that when the following day

Judge Sunu: You're the one whose mm, there's certain baba in it.

Tiger: Yes that's the one that I'm working with.

Judge Sunu: Yeah.

Tiger: That's the one that I'm working with that is NiiAkotey, his friend

Judge Sunu: What is the friend's name?

Tiger: Wiya

Judge Sunu: Wiyaahhhaa.

Tiger: Yes my lord that's right so he brought the motor to my house through a follow person

Judge Sunu: Wait, see your problem is that you don't like telling the truth. When I look at you, the evidence you gave you yourself you know that deep down your heart you are telling the truth, you see Wiya, you knew that Wiya was a motor thief.

Tiger: My lord by that time I didn't know

Judge Sunu: You didn't know, but the fact is that you denied in the court that you knew anybody called Wiya

Tiger: No I said that I know Wiya

Judge Sunu: No you said you didn't know, because I read your [what do you call it], your statement where you mentioned that Wiya, you were with your master when Wiya came you, understand?

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: That's where you knew Wiya so I've written your statement against what you were saying, so I asked you; “do you know Wiya?” You said no. Hmmm I asked you.

Tiger2: You see these are some of the things they always do

Judge Sunu: Exactly.

Tiger2: Sometimes truth can even push you to a level that you might be looking for when you tell the truth you understand, me I always say that as for truth dieee it's bitter but when you commit you have to admit, the thing is..

Judge Sunu: Probably you didn't even know that Wiya was a thief probably

Tiger: Yeah, yeah.

Judge Sunu: So when I asked you, I read the statement in details you see me I was I attend psychology, my first degree I majored not only, I majored in psychology before I went to do my masters in law so when accused person mount the box and they are talking like they are just joking, I know what I'm talking about.

Tiger: You can certainly know, joking yeah, yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: I'll catch you by all means…..

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: So when you entered the box my thinking was if you see the way the case is going you can raise your hand and say my lord I want to change my plea to guilty, that one you haven't drag the court too much, so the court can have some mercy on you but when you drag the court to the end, the court elastic end then the judge is going to give judgment, that one you think the court will have mercy on you.

Tiger: I would be difficult.

Judge Sunu: Even if we would have mercy on you it would be difficult mmm this is not your first case in court.

Tiger: My next one was, that was the first case before the other case.

Judge Sunu: The other one also came, also stealing

Tiger: That one was ehhh Adimah Robeh.

Judge Sunu: Adimah Robeh.

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: Hehehehehe, yes so what should I do for you, what do you want me to do for you?

Tiger: Emm my lord, at this time de3 there is no way we can run away.

Judge Sunu: I'm not saying he's guilty oo..

Tiger: Certainly not my lord, certainly not.

Judge Sunu: Your docket is still in the office I saw it when I started writing the judgment

Tiger: Yes we know my lord, this one de3 we're just at your feet for you to ammm temper justice with mercy for (Judge cuts in).

Judge Sunu: Even if I don't find him guilty?

Tiger: Ahhh hmmm yeah I…

Judge Sunu: Hehehehehe.

Tiger: I understand my lord, we know what is at stake for us so we don't want to get committed more and more so we're just coming to you as your children so that you consider us.

Judge Sunu: What you want to say is that in case the evidence says you are guilty I should consider you?

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Because I haven't yet look at the evidence everything is on the docket. It is when I take it and I'm going to write judgment that I'll see whether you are guilty, you were guilty or not, so it's the evidence they're communicating to tell me something that's why I'm asking what you want to say in case the evidence tells me you're guilty then you are pleaded is that not so?

Tiger: My lord I ehh the question is tough but that is not exactly what we need.

Judge Sunu: Exactly what do you want me to do?

Tiger: Exactly what we need is I, we just wanted you to by the power vested in you to just help us because the case is continuously been there for several years and it's like according to him, he himself me before the case started I was telling him that I've always been telling him about his friends and other things and me I don't trust them so now that the case has come the only way we can come out is to make sure that the is being killed off

Judge Sunu: Is being?

Tiger: Killed off my lord.

Judge Sunu: Killed off, how would the case be killed off? You can suggest how you think the case can be killed off.

Tiger: Emm my Lord what I mean is I'm not, I'm just making a mere suggestion that by the power vested in you, you can do something to or maybe if it is a fine then you fine him.

Judge Sunu: That is why I was asking you. Are you trying to say that in case the evidence or records find him guilty I should consider him with the sentences ?

Tiger: That is so my lord.

Judge Sunu: Hmmm, you know stealing the penalty that goes with it, 10years in imprisonment.

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: It is some time when I have reasons, big reason that I don't imprison that I impose fines. But Mr. Apah Nape's case does not qualify for a judgement, (laughs) heheheh sometimes when I realized that the accused person has been robbing by circumstances beyond his control that I impose a penalty. When I realized that the person [is positively], the person took a positive step or played a positive role in the crime.

You see we're all trying to like I said to you I've not even started looking at the evidence but if I find him guilty, that is what I'm trying to say to you. But don't worry we'll see what we'll do. When is the judgment, have you adjourned date for judgment.

Tiger: No my lord, not yet.

Judge Sunu: Not yet, you were supposed to bring a witness.

Tiger: No, the prosecutor was asking me something.

Judge Sunu: He was cross-examining you?

Tiger: Yes.

Judge Sunu: Has he finished?

Tiger: No.

Judge Sunu: Okay.

Tiger: My lord even this case I the complainers came to me that he knows that ehhh Wiya who gave him the motor right now Wiya has run to Tamale and the prosecutor emm the investigator of my case is the friend of Wiya so Wiya has been talking to him.

Judge Sunu: The investigator?

Tiger: Yeah.

Judge Sunu: Who's the investigator?

Tiger: The home prosecutor.

Judge Sunu: So you see the evidence is clear that you did not go to … is the same, where you are going wrong is that where you are denying that you know Wiya that is where you are going wrong.

Tiger: My lord, I said I know Wiya but the one who said I've stole the motor that's the owner of the motor. It's through the friend of Baba that's the friend of Wiya, it's through Bawah that I know Wiya so it's the same Bawah who tells Wiya's friend the one that we took the motor that the motor is with me because I'm working with Baba so Baba knows where the Wiya

Judge Sunu: All this that you're saying you're right oo so that is appeal court so what you're saying here cannot go into the records

Tiger: Yes my lord

Judge Sunu: It is what you say in court that we'll work on so I'm saying that, what you're saying now it's not in, you are taking to the place you mounted the box and you never gave that statement to the police, you were in the box with your own version of stories, I don't know if you are getting me.

Tiger: Yes I'm following you my lord.

(Judge gets a phone call. Judge: yes sir, good evening good evening ; Ewe language, Alright okay bye bye).

Judge Sunu: Sometimes people have good cases but the point is they themselves. the reason why I asked that question when you said you were dealing with Wiya, the case is with the police alone. The police put their own names there they said he knew, Wiya through your master that's what you said in the statement.

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: And the boss too he didn't Wiya……. So if it is true the evidence indicate to you that you knew Wiya then you're denying that you didn't say that to the police if I find that indeed you said that to the police then it means that the whole thing that you said in the box were lies.

Tiger: My lord honestly I didn't say I did not know ehhh

Judge Sunu: I know Anpah Napeter very well you are not here to drag the matter

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: And I know him very well.

Tiger: Yes my lord, his case has been there and he has gotten to..

Tiger2: My lord one time my sister came with one person eehh who was a pastor that was the case I was not having bail then you were able to give me bail when you just came out and…

Judge Sunu: Alright don't worry, in case you're found guilty I would know what to do…

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: I promise I wont…..

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: That's all you want?

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: Okay let's see, okay then lets meet.

Tiger: Okay sir. But sir…

Judge Sunu: Yeah

Tiger: We have something……. (We handed an amount of Ghc 1,000 to the judge, he readily accepted the amount)

Judge Sunu: What were you doing?

Tiger: Me? I sell transfer.

Judge Sunu: You do what?

Tiger: I sell transfer.

Judge Sunu: Transfer?

Tiger: Yes my lord.

Judge Sunu: So you make money?

Tiger: Small, small my lord.

Judge Sunu: Alright.

Tiger: Okay thank you my lord, thank you. So whatever it is my lord.

Judge Sunu: Okay.

In the end, got the accused acquitted. But we were not amused; rather awe-struck - struck by the fact that the learned judge had also done what we did not expect. Accepted money in order to do something about an illegality perpetrated against the state. The state that had employed him, the state that paid his salaries and allowances, the state that had vested in him the power to adjudicate.

He freed the suspect.

Justice Sunu on one of Tiger's investigations…

Judge Solomon Sunu also presided over the 'Ghana's Food For Thought' case in court which involved an undercover investigation by Tiger. 'Ghana's Food for Thought', which was aired on Al Jazeera, is about how food meant for malnourished children, pregnant women and HIV patients was stolen by government health workers. This food was donated by agencies like the World Food Programme (WFP).

Statistics of the northern part of Ghana indicate that whereas 2 in every 10 people in the south are poor, six out of every 10 persons living in the north are poor. Tiger's trip to the Northern part of Ghana revealed (through a secret filming) that the persons within the Ghana Health Service mandated to safeguard these foods were criminally selling out these food items to members of the public and other institutions for their parochial interests, hence contributing to the death of children on a daily basis due to lack of nutritional food.

Two government officials who were involved in this criminal act are in the custody of the Upper East regional police command after they were arrested by the police in a raid at their respective locations while in the act of delivering the supplies to Anas Aremeyaw Anas.


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