The newly sworn-in judges and magistrates in a photo with the Chief Justice and other officials of the Judicial Service
Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei, President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG), has stated that it is unfair for the media to tag the Judiciary as corrupt following the expose by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI company.
Although he admitted that the recent revelation by the journalist had painted the Judiciary black in the eyes of the world, the percentage of the judges who were indicted was a minute fraction of the Judiciary.
“I shall not condone corruption but I am of the considered opinion that the indictment of 8.5 % by the expose was over-exaggerated to include all judges and magistrates,” he said.
Explaining the rationale for his argument, Justice Adjei said at the time of the expose there were 400 judges and magistrates in Ghana and 34 of that number were indicted, representing 8.5 percent.
He further indicated that out of the 12 high court judges who were indicted, two had retired and the preliminary investigations by the Chief Justice exonerated one of them and that it is the cases of the remaining nine judges which are pending.
He said one of the 22 lower bench judges was also exonerated and the remaining 21 dismissed.
Justice Adjei stated that the above analysis brings the number of those indicted to only 8 percent, adding that there is evidence that some judges and magistrates could not be corrupted.
“Nothing should be done for the public to lose confidence in the Judiciary when about 22 percent of the judges and magistrates were not indicted,” he said.
The president of AMJG expressed these concerns when he gave the keynote address at the first swearing-in ceremony of judges and magistrates after Anas’ expose which dented the image of the judiciary.
This was after the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, had decided to end the tradition of giving the swearing-in address herself, having done it for eight years.
In all, five circuit court judges and eight magistrates took the oath of allegiance, judicial oath and oath of secrecy.
The five circuit court judges were Mary Adei Kotei, Malcolm E. Bedzrah, Pricilla Dirkro, Mary M.E. Nsenkyire and Baah Forson Agyemang.
The eight magistrates were Joyce Boahen, Rita Amonyiwah Edusah, Anthony Aduku-Aidoo, Evelyn Asamoah, Gloria Mensah Bonsu, Susana Eduful, Agnes Opoku-Barnieh and Afia Owusuaa Appiah.
Justice Adjei encouraged the judges to remember the substance of the oath they had sworn and ensure they comply with them.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri