The Attorney General has given ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, immunity from prosecution and any civil action for his latest investigation that has uncovered massive corruption among judges.
The grant of immunity to Anas is per Section 19 of the Whistleblowers’ Act (Act 720), a prominent legal practitioner, Ace Akomah, who has watched the video told an Accra-based radio station, Joy FM on Wednesday morning.
In the latest investigation piece yet to be premiered in Accra, thirty-four judges at the country’s High Courts, the Circuit and District courts were captured on camera taking bribes from litigants whose cases come before them.
The three-hour edited video, which is the result of a two-year painstaking investigation into the judiciary by the award-winning investigative journalist, also exposes some of the judges in a sex scandal.
Anas is said to have petitioned President John Dramani Mahama, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General to begin processes to remove the judges found in the video to be taking bribes and extorting money from litigants
According to Mr. Ankomah, the Attorney General has affirmed the latest work by Anas.
He also revealed that the judges from the lower courts in the scandal would either today or tomorrow appear before a disciplinary committee at the behest of the Chief Justice.
“I understand the processes are beginning today. Many of the judges have been called either today or tomorrow to start facing the various disciplinary committees. That’s for the lower courts,” he said.
He said the processes for High Court judges was different; as theirs is provided for in the constitution, saying, “the high court judges’ is a different procedure.”
“The constitution completely takes it out of the hands of the straight out pure judiciary system” just like what the boss of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Lauretta Lamptey is going through.
Meanwhile, information reaching tv3network.com indicates that the judiciary will from this morning issue a statement on the investigation piece, which has been described by some as scandalous and expected to shake the nation.
While waiting for the processes to begin, Mr. Ankomah has asked Ghanaians to be measured in their commentary on the issue, and not conclude that the entire judiciary is corrupt.
“These are 34 justices at my last count; there were about 362 judges between the High Courts and the Magistrates Courts. This is barely less than 10 percent of the judiciary. It is a fairly significant sample size actually, but it still doesn’t speak to the fact that we have a completely broken system,” he advised.
He said there is about 90 percent of judges who are probably innocent or have not been caught hence Ghanaians ought to be careful of how they paint everybody with the same brush.
According to him, there were a number of judges who refused to be bribed and that Anas will come out with names of those judges. “We ought to be very careful and measured and let the system prove itself.”
“Even if there is incontrovertible evidence, it still must go through the rigours of evidentiary rule. A person is innocent until proven guilty. I will urge that everybody, try to hold your horses,” he said
“I’m shaken …but I’m delighted that the processes appear to be working. All of us as Ghanaians should keep our eyes on a few institutions. The Judicial Council, the AG, the President,” he said
He said a judge serves in two legal capacities (as a judge and a lawyer), noting that even if any of the judges manage to escape the Judicial Council or a presidential inquiry, they cannot escape the General Legal Council.