Anas Expose Hits Judiciary – Says CJ

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Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood has stated that the judicial bribery and corruption scandal that hit the judiciary in 2015 is the darkest spot in its history. According to her, the scandal confirmed the reality of the often held perception that corruption is rife in the justice delivery system. She indicated that it was a bad time for judges and magistrates, especially those who had made the highest standards of judicial integrity their hallmark. Anas Ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas shocked the judiciary last year when he recorded judges on video trading justice for pecuniary gains. The expose by Anas about the conduct of some judges shook the foundation of the administration of justice in Ghana and set tongues wagging at how some judges stoop so low by taking bribes. Over 21 circuit court judges and magistrates were suspended while 12 superior court judges, mostly at the high courts, were facing impeachment for corruption. Speaking at the signing of Judicial Anti-Corruption Compact been Ghana’s Judiciary and the International Bar Association (IBA) yesterday, the chief justice said the expose was a timely reminder of the enormous task that “we still face as an institution and as a profession and as a nation, given that jJudges are drawn from the Bar.” She said the Compact Agreement reiterates the fundamental standards and principles that run through the judiciary’s Code of Conduct, insisting that the compact is also not at variance with the same Code of Conduct. Mrs. Wood noted that the compact will complement the concrete steps “we have taken and continue to take in order to minimize judicial corruption if not eliminated entirely from the system.” David Rivkin, President of IBA, said when he assumed office as president of the association he embraced a fight against corruption. He argued that it’s important to eliminate judicial corruption to ensure the integrity of the judiciary. Benson–Nutsukpui, President of the Ghana Bar Association who signed for and on behalf of the association, said the body had always been at the fore front in the fight against corruption. He said GBA was committed to the compact and that plans were afoot to get its members subscribe to it personally. Anti-Corruption Pact The signing of the agreement makes Ghana the first African country to publicly commit to the pact. The compact will enable its signatories to pledge their refusal to engage in corrupt conduct and their commitment to observe fundamental principles of professional ethics and integrity in the practice of law.