Drop Justice Torkornoo – Dery Tells CJ


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Barely 48 hours after he withdrew his application at the Supreme Court, which sought to stop Justice Gertrude Torkonoo, an Appeal Court Judge from sitting on any matter related to his case, Justice Utter Peter Dery has formally petitioned the Chief Justice (CJ), Georgina Theodora Wood, to stop the judge from presiding over any of his suits at the High Court.

In a letter dated January 21, 2016 and addressed to the CJ, the embattled judge, who was allegedly caught on video receiving bribe, expressed doubt about the impartiality of the trial Judge, Justice Torkonoo, in the cases he filed against investigative reporter, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Tiger Eye PII and others, who have petitioned the President for his removal as a judge.

According to him, Justice Torkonoo, an Appeal Court Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, “has demonstrated a likelihood of bias” in the handling of his cases.

He noted that he filed a motion to get the court to restrain Anas from showing the audiovisual in which he and 11 other justices of the High Court were alleged to have taken bribes but the trial judge heard the case at a time when the said audiovisual had already been shown.

The High Court Judge disclosed that Mrs Torkonoo, after the motion, proceeded to dismiss it and awarded costs of GH¢5,000 against him, which had to be paid before any of his suits would be heard.

In addition, he stated that in an application to have Anas and four others committed for contempt, the matter was heard without any recourse to him and dismissed apart from dispensing off with the service on the motion, adding that in the exercise of discretion, a judge should have in mind Article 296 (a) and (b) of the Constitution.


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He disclosed that in dispensing with the service of the motion, Mrs Torkonoo never gave any reason.

He was of the opinion that the action of the trial judge constituted “arbitrariness, capriciousness and bias as a result of resentment prejudice or personal dislike.”

Explaining further, the embattled judge stated that the Appeal Court judge exhibited bias against him when he went to the Supreme Court and Justice Torkonoo in her affidavit said Justice Dery had reckless disregard for the truth and urged the Supreme Court “to take steps to restore the dignity to ensure the administration of justice from the barrage of untruthful and unwarranted applications.”

The judge was of the view that the impartiality of the judge was very much in doubt and prayed the CJ to use her power to remove the trial judge.

 

By Fidelia Achama

 


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