The Judicial Council in Ghana has dismissed 20 of 21 Circuit Court judges and magistrates in the judicial bribery scandal. They were investigated for misconduct after investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, filed a petition for their removal.
Following a two-year investigation, Anas petitioned the Chief Justice for the removal of 23 lower court judges on grounds of misbehaviour, pursuant to Article 151 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Two were, however, exempted as they had been elevated to the High Court as of April 2015 and could not be removed by Article 151.
Anas’s petition was accompanied by audio-visual evidence of bribery in which the accused judges and magistrates were secretly recorded collecting bribes to pass favourable verdicts.
Following the petition, the judges came under the investigation of a disciplinary committee chaired by Supreme Court justice, Sophia Adinyira and including two past presidents of the Ghana Bar Association, Frank Beecham and Nene Amegatcher; Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, Brigadier General Edward Fiawoo and Justice Elizabeth Ankumah of the High Court.
At a press conference on Monday, December 7, the Judicial Council announced some of the judges and magistrates were removed with end of service benefits and some others dismissed without any benefit.
It explained that those removed with benefits were remorseful when they appeared before the committee and apologized profusely to the people of Ghana for bringing the judiciary’s name into disrepute by their conduct.