Much as I deplore the unethical attitudes by some Ghana judges and lawyers towards the delivery of justice in the country, I cannot put all judges and lawyers into the same basket and condemn them to the Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ wickedly set up gallows. It is not only a public perception but factually accurate that some, if not most, Ghana judges, are corrupt to selling justice to the highest bidder and/or to highly elevated personalities in the country who approach them to induce them with offers, to pronounce verdicts in their favour when deciding their cases.
Although one bad nut spoils the lot, there are many bad nuts out there in the Ghana judicial system ruining not only the delivery of just but also, frightening away both local and foreign investors from coming to do business in the country. That is one of the repercussions or the ripple effects of the known but silently condemned ongoing judicial corruption in Ghana.
Justice is the wheel on which the success of a country or a society runs. In a country where their delivery of justice is principally based on whom-you-know, how much you can bribe a judge, how far you can induce a court registrar to hide or let disappear vital evidentiary documents from dockets, depends, that country’s socio-politico-economic progress is always retarded. Without justice being the cardinal pivot on which the success of the country revolves, there will never be probity, transparency and accountability by those we elect or appoint and entrust with power to govern us but baneful corruption galore.
Injustice begets corruption and all other evils that come with it. Therefore, it should not be tolerated the delivery of injustices, instead of justice, by the country’s judges.
However, do we still stand by the conviction that the sacking of the judges as concluded from Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the unrivalled Ghanaian ace investigative journalist’s investigations into judicial corruption, was right and must stand as such? No, I personally don’t think so hence calling on the powers that be, especially the (Ghana) General Legal Council and the Ghana Bar Association, to review their sentences by re-examining the methodology used by Anas to catch them and tagged them as corrupt.
As in the land of the blind one-eyed man is king, in the absence of the other side of the story, we were all obliged to accept the findings and conclusions drawn by Anas depending on which the judges were dismissed from their jobs by then President John Dramani Mahama as approved by Chief Justice Mrs Theodora Georgina Wood.
However, Anas’ modus operandi (mode of operating or working) has been uncovered to be entrapment, blackmailing and extortion thanks to the sparkling and unblemished counter-investigations by Kennedy Okompreko Ohene Agyapong (Hon), the Member of Parliament for Assin Central in the Central Region. With the credibly video-recorded evidence made available in the public domain on how Anas conducts his criminal investigations into some allegedly committed or suspected instances of institutional corruption, do we still have the moral justification as a nation to stand solidly by the Anas’ findings against the sacked judges? I for one, I don’t!
I am not going to be biased towards them because of the knowledge, or perception, of, the Ghana judicial system being greedily corrupt. As each case is decided on its own merit, I shall give them the benefit of the doubt until they are properly proven to have committed the crime. How do we prove they did, or did not, commit, the crime of accepting bribes to twist justice in favour of the parties in the cases that arranged to bribe them? The question is not difficult to answer at all by the astute “should-have-been" but "never-was” lawyer, Rockson Adofo, the proud son of Kumawu/Asiampa soil. But does one have to be a lawyer to know the law? No!!!
To answer the question posed above, the following are the steps to go through:
1) Get hold of all the counter-videos as are already put out on YouTube and on other media platforms by Kennedy Agyapong (Hon) about the modus operandi as is adopted by Anas to conducting his investigations.
2) Contact Kennedy for any further counter-videos he may hold on Anas regarding how he goes about his criminal investigations into the alleged corrupt conduct of his victims
3) Establish if his modus operandi conforms to international standards or is within the standards and procedures set out by Ghana, if any.
4) Are there any instances of entrapment, blackmailing and extortion as are tools used by Anas to conducting his investigations to arriving at his conclusions? If yes, do we accept his findings and conclusions as credible, permissible and acceptable?
5) If Anas with his team is seen to offer gifts, e.g. money, to people and specifies that they are gifts, can they be counted against his victims as having taken bribes? If yes, is there not a law in Ghana to hold accountable both the givers and takers of bribes for indulging in corruption?
6) Was any money or any type of gift offered to any of the sacked judges? If yes, did Anas or any of his team members before giving the item to the judge specify to them that it was a bribe or a gift? Request for unredacted copies of Anas's own videos on the judges taking the bribes.
7) Are judges allowed to accept gifts from people, especially those that they are presiding over their cases, thus, people who are on trial before them? If no, why not? If yes, for what reason?
8) Can an offer of money or a gift to a judge influence him/her to twist their declaration of verdict in favour of whoever gives them the gift regardless of the available evidence before them to the contrary? I mean, can a judge accepting a gift or a bribe influence their decision?
9) Why at all should a judge accept money or a gift from a litigant and what is the motive of the person giving the money or gift to the judge?
10) When Anas and his team gave any of the judges money, what was their motive behind it? Were they seeking the judge to decide a case pending before him/her in a particular direction to favour a particular person or party?
11) Did the judge after taking the money decide the case in favour of that particular person or party as wished or requested by Anas or his team, or the judge based his/her ruling on the credible evidence made available to him/her by both litigating persons or parties?
12) A panel of judges of integrity, those who base their declaration of verdicts on the credibility, permissibility and acceptability of the evidence submitted to the court, but not on inducement of any sort or cajoling by whomever, e.g. a crafty traditional overlord, must be appointed to study all the cases decided by the sacked judges for which Anas and his team allegedly paid them bribes or gave them gifts. Were such cases decided on the merit of the abundant credible evidence made available to the court or they were determined based on the inducement of the bribes paid to them or the gifts given to them? If the cases were decided on the merit of the evidence, then the judge concerned must be exonerated from blame and subsequently re-instated but if a judge is found to have decided the case otherwise, thus, based on the gift or bribe, then the sacking of the judge was justified. If Anas' modus operandi, is found to ensnaring his victims, blackmailing and extorting, then is it legal both internationally and nationally? If it is not, then he has to be punished but not let go scot free for has deceived the Ghanaian public.
Should the above listed twelve points be followed scrupulously, then the fate of the judges could be better re-determined. I have no confidence in the means used by Anas and his Tiger Eye PI to get them sacked, although, I have aversion to the corrupt, unethical and shameful way some Ghana judges go about hearing cases and declaring their judgments. I will not allow my hatred for their corrupt ways to cloud my fairness of judgment hence this publication.
The incoming Chief Justice, Mr Anin Yeboah, and the Ghana Bar Association including His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, are requested to look into the sacking of the judges now that Anas Aremeyaw Anas is proven to be a rogue, a criminal, a bribe-giver and an extortionist, thanks to the evidence placed in the public domain by Kennedy Agyapong (Hon).
We should not sit down for evil to triumph over truth all of the time. Enough of, and to hell with, the society-created human monsters of whom Anas is now principal with some traditional chiefs, judges and security personnel gluttonously partaking in that monstrosity.
Saturday, 14 December 2019