Justice Paul Uuter Dery

Don’t allow Justice Torkonoo to sit on my cases : Dery petitions CJ

One of the justices implicated in the judicial scandal, Justice Paul Uuter Dery, has filed a petition requesting the Chief Justice to remove a judge from sitting on his cases for exhibiting bias.


Justice Dery has accused Mrs Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, a justice of the Court of Appeal with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, of consistently showing bias while presiding on his cases.

He filed a formal writ praying the Supreme Court to order the judge to step aside but he withdrew it later and has now resorted to the administrative process.

Justice Dery enumerated some instances where Mrs Justice Torkornoo allegedly displayed open disdain towards him.

“Finally, your Ladyship, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo J.A in her affidavit in opposition to an application for contempt I filed at the Supreme Court exhibited bias against me. She deposed in several paragraphs of her affidavit that I have reckless disregard for the truth and that the Supreme Court should take steps to restore the dignity of the court and administration of justice from the barrage of untruths and unwarranted applications.”

The petition, dated January 21, 2016 and signed by Justice Dery, said the assessment of the credibility of a witness was part of the judicial process.

“Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo J.A has already assessed me as an untruthful person. It stands to reason with respect, your Ladyship, that her impartiality in handling any of my suits is very much in doubt. I, therefore, pray that in the overall interest of justice you use your powers to remove Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo

J.A from my cases and replace her with a different Judge,” Justice Dery prayed.

Particulars of bias
In one of his suits, the petitioner said he filed a motion for interlocutory injunction which was fixed for hearing on September 28, 2015, to prevent Tiger Eye P I from screening the audio visual recordings of its investigations on September 22 and 23, 2015 at the International Conference Centre.

“Your Ladyship, on the date of the hearing, Tiger Eye P I had already screened the audio-visuals and so the motion became moot. As a result, neither my Lawyer nor I went to Court. Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo J.A sat on the motion, acknowledged that it was moot, stated that she would not strike it out and dismissed it. Her Ladyship

Justice Gertrude Torkornoo J.A then awarded heavy cost of GHȻ5,000 against me and ordered that the cost should be paid before I bring any other motion,” the petition noted.

In another case, Justice Dery said he filed an application to commit managers of the AICC and Tiger Eye P I for Contempt of Court.

He said the court fixed October 12, 2015 for hearing but on September 28, 2015, the motion was called without notice to him or his lawyer.

According to the petitioner, the other respondents were not served with his motion for contempt but said “her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo with all this knowledge heard the application and dismissed it. 

In her ruling, she dispensed with service of the motion on the Respondents pursuant to Order 50 rule 1 of C.I 47.

“Your Ladyship, with respect, a Judge in the exercise of discretion in a matter needs to avert his or her mind to Article 296 (a) and (b) of the 1992 Constitution.”

The Scandal
The Judicial Service was rocked in what might go down in the history of Ghana as the biggest scandal to hit the judiciary when 32 judges and magistrates and more than 100 staff of the Judicial Service were caught on tape receiving bribes from ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team.

More than 20 of the judges have so far been dismissed, with a few others challenging Anas’s petition in court.

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