General News of Tuesday, 8 December 2015
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has questioned the rationale behind the Chief Justice’s decision to give some of the dismissed corrupt judges their end of service benefits.
Twenty out of 22 lower court judges have been sacked, but four of them will be given their benefits for showing remorse.
A prima facie case was established against the magistrates and district court judges after investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas captured them on camera taking bribes to influence cases before them.
The Executive Secretary of the GII – the local chapter of Transparency International – Vitus Azeem believes all the judges found culpable should have gone home without benefits.
“A crime is a crime, whether you have shown remorse or not,” Azeem told Accra-based Citi FM.
According to him, “it will be unfair to the rest [without benefits]”
“They should all be treated equally…I think it’s unfair to give [the benefits] only to those who have shown remorse,” the anti-corruption campaigner added. “It’s unfair because they’ve all committed the same crime.”
Meanwhile, the GII boss is adding his voice for the prosecution of the corrupt judges.
The four who will receive their benefits include His Honour Seyram Tsatsu Azumah – Circuit Court, Akropong; His Worship Paul K. Alhassan – District Court, Agona; His Worship Albert Zoogah – District Court, Ashiaman; and His Worship Courage Ofori Afriyie – District Court, Offinso.
Those who have been dismissed or removed without benefits are: His Honour Benjamin Y. Osei – Circuit Court, Juaben; Her Honour Florence Otoo Ninepence – Circuit Court, Tema; His Honour Isaac B. Akwantey – Circuit Court, Wa; His Honour Alex Obeng Asante – Circuit Court, Tarkwa; His Honour Emmanuel K. Sunu – Circuit Court, Bolgatanga; His Honour Baptist Kwadwo Filson – Circuit Court, Bibiani and His Honour Emmanuel Opare – Circuit Court , Techiman.
The rest are: His Worship Samuel Ahiabor – District Court, Adidome; His Worship William Baffoe – District Court , Cape Coast; His Worship Michael Boamah Gyamfi – District Court, Mampongteng; His Worship Jacob Amponsah – District Court, Ejisu; His Worship Frank Kingley Oppong – District Court, Kasoa; His Worship Samuel Essel-Walker – District Court, Bolgatanga and His Worship Alfred K. A Mensah – District Court, Somanya.
About 130 other Judicial Service staff are being investigated over the undercover investigations.
The CJ has given the strongest indication that more judges are likely to face sanctions in the coming weeks once the probing committee finishes with its work.