A Court of Appeal Judge, Sir Justice Dennis Adjei has said that investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ exposé on corruption in the judiciary and subsequent tagging of judges as corrupt has damped their spirits. He said it was unfair to tag the entire judiciary as corrupt, when there were over 400 judges and magistrates in the country and 92 per cent of the number were not indicted. Justice Adjei was speaking in relation to the exposé by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas on corrupt activities in the judiciary.
Speaking at the swearing in of 13 judges and magistrates in Accra, Justice Adjei noted that the exposé had painted the Judiciary black. The 13 who were sworn-in were made up of five Circuit Court Judges and eight Magistrates. According to Justice Adjei, who is also the President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges (AMUG), nothing should be done for people to lose confidence in the Judiciary when there was evidence that some Judges and Magistrates could not be corrupted. “We should rather have confidence in the Judicial Council, which has not relented in its constitutional mandate for disciplining judges who have flouted either a constitutional provision or law or code of conduct for Judges and Magistrates,” he added.
The Court of Appeal Judge noted that the various nick names given to Judges by virtue of the exposé were unnecessary and that also sought to sink the image of the Judiciary. “Those who stock in trade is to artificially dent the image of Judiciary are spelling doom for the country and must stop forth with. Any calculated attempt by some few individuals to attack the whole Judiciary without any basis must stop to straighten the dent caused to the entire Judiciary and restore the confidence of hardworking and upright Judges and Magistrates,” he said. He told the new Judges and Magistrates that their conduct were governed by the Constitution, Laws and Code of Conduct and an infraction of any of them may lead to judge’s removal from the Bench. Sir Justice Adjei also reminded them that they did not own judicial powers but were only custodians. “Judges are not above the law. The Constitution provides equality before the law,” he said. He further advised them not to be insolent or discourteous as they may be removed from the Bench. “Judges should not develop the culture of insulting lawyers, litigants and witnesses, but I do not seem to suggest that Judges should compromise their duty to dispose of cases expeditiously,” he added. Sir Justice Adjei, urged his colleagues to abide by the Code of Conduct and the oaths they had sworn.