State Attorneys demand prosecution of judges cited for corruption

BY: Victor Kwawukume
Mr Justice Essel Mensah and Mr Justice Ernest Obimpeh have been cited for corruption in a three-hour edited video by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas

Two institutions — the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and the Association of State Attorneys — and a former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) have called for the law to take its full course in the matter of the judges, magistrates and staff of the Judicial Service who have been implicated in a corruption scandal.

State Attorneys

The National Secretary of the Association of State Attorneys, Mr Charles Ofori, said those found to be implicated should be prosecuted and that what they had done was a criminal offence.

“We are not angels but anytime we meet these temptations, we should be guarded by the values that we were taught in the law school,” he said.

He said the development had cast a serious dent on all legal practitioners and that steps ought to be taken towards image repair.

GBA

The Public Relations Officer of the GBA, Mr Tony Forson, said the Constitution was clear on what had to be done in the circumstance and called for patience as the constitutional processes were exhausted.

He said what was being done in dealing with those implicated was the right thing and an indication that state institutions were working.

The GBA, he said, would not run any commentary to prejudice the case but would wait for its final determination.

He said the dictates of the law presumed an accused person innocent until proven guilty and that the provision of evidence alone did not impute guilt, adding that in view of that, there was the need to await the conclusion of the case.

“Over the years, some four lawyers said there was corruption in the judiciary but the Chief Justice took the position that ‘bring the evidence’. Now the evidence has been brought. What ought to be done is being done,” Mr Forson said.

Justice Emile Short

For his part, Justice Emile Short, a judge and former Commissioner of CHRAJ, said due process must take its course.

He said even if the allegations were true, those accused were entitled to be heard and to have a fair trial.

Justice Short said during his tenure as commissioner, he did not receive any complaint of corruption against the judiciary but had complaints of delay in the processing of cases before the courts.