Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Viewers were gripped with awe and disappointment at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) yesterday when Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist, screened the video recordings of how some judges stooped so low to take bribes.
The numerous patrons who thronged the centre kept grumbling at how the judges were taking bribes in broad daylight to throw away cases or leave criminals off the hook in the almost three-hour video.
Perhaps the judge who attracted sarcastic applauds from the audience was Justice John Ajet-Nasam of the infamous Woyome GH¢51.2 million fraudulent judgement debt saga. He even remarked at a point, “I don’t take sopi (small) sopi (small) money,” when he allegedly collected bribe from undercover journalist, Anas, at Zongo Junction, Accra, to free an accused person.
There was also a raunchy sex scene involving a court clerk and a lady in the investigative piece, and some of the judges were also given sheep, goats and yam in order to pervert the course of justice.
In almost all the cases, it was some court clerks and a few others who were used as ‘middlemen’ between the judges and the supposed litigants. One person who played an instrumental role in three of the judges’ cases was called Gabriel Achana, who works in the high courts in Accra.
The judges’ official residences were mostly the meeting points and some also took the ‘bribes’ by the wayside in their official cars or other joints like shopping malls.
A lady court clerk for instance, could be seen doing the sign of the cross to signify the collection of the money in order to facilitate influencing the judge while others remarked that “you can only see the judge through me.”
The investigations by Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team spanned over two years and in all the cases, Anas made sure the moneys he and his team used as bribes were not wrapped.
Justice Ernest Obimpeh’s alleged bribery and corruption was the first to show and through his middleman Gabriel, he collected GH¢5,000 plus two goats to rule for one party in a land case.
Surprisingly, the judge drove to the Accra Mall near the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, and ordered his police escort to stand aside while he took the cash.
Justice Paul Uuter Dery, who tried unsuccessfully to stop the entire public screening in court, was connected to Anas by his clerk who initially charged GH¢25,000 but finally settled on GH¢15,000 with the supposed accused person in a narcotic drug case.
When he was even given sheep as a gift, Justice Dery allegedly said he preferred a goat which was eventually delivered as a ‘thank you’ to his official residence.
Justice Yaw Ansu-Gyeabour, who has since retired, also used his driver as a middleman.
After collecting the money, he even took yam and hilariously called one of his house helps at his residence to come and pack the stuff.
The judge called Ahmed Mustapha, who was always bare-chested relaxing in his residence in Wa, was initially hesitant but Anas was able to break his resistance with money and at one point, he gave details of the judgement he was to deliver to the Tiger Eye Team.
In the Juaben Circuit Court the case involving an accused person charged with possessing firearms without lawful authority, a court official after collecting the bribe for the judge - Alex Oben Asante - even collected his ‘share’ and another for his absent colleague.
The judge’s ‘cut’ was then wrapped in a case docket and handed over to him.
A court clerk called Peace was given GH¢1,000 by Anas to sustain her interest in convincing Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh and later huge sums of money in bundles were seen on the desk of the judge in a murder case.
Gabriel was once again the middleman for Justice Kofi Essel Mensah. He took GH¢5,000 for the judge.
In the video, Gabriel appeared to be collecting a lot of money for leading litigants to ‘see’ judges.
In Tarkwa, in a burglary case the judge, Kwame Ohene Essel, took GH¢1,000 and his clerk Ezekiel, pocketed GH¢300 and the alacrity with which they counted the money looked like they worked in the bank.
The Tiger Eye Team also tracked the activities of a circuit court judge, Florence K. Ninepence Otoo, from Cape Coast to Tema where she was transferred to, and per the video she appears to be a serial bribe-taker.
Her clerk even told Anas and his team that “if you want something you have to pour libation,” and when he was given some money, he went to the toilet to count and package it.
Justice Charles Quist took bribe to release a hardened armed robber who was part of the gang that robbed a filling station at Taifa, Accra, and at a point threatened not to deliver the judgement if Anas did not ‘bring the balance.’
The judge’s clerk negotiated and got GH¢5,000 for himself.
There was mad rush for the public screening. It attracted people from all walks of life.
To be continued tomorrow.