The 34 judges who have been fingered in a massive corruption scandal have been placed on suicide watch as fears heighten that they will take their lives.
Twenty-two – mainly judges and magistrates - out of the 34 begin their suspension today after the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council examined the video evidence of malfeasance brought against the judges by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
StarrFM can confirm the judges have been given special counsellors to walk them through the stress and how to manage the crisis after two of their colleagues ended up at the hospital over the news.
“It’s a sad case, but a serious one. We need to help them psychologically else it will escalate into something tragic,” a Judicial Service source told Starrfm.
Justice Obimpeh is currently on admission at the Nyaho Clinic in Accra while another accused, Justice Charles Quist, has reportedly suffered mild stroke since news of the scandal started making rounds.
A statement signed by the Judicial Secretary Wednesday said the exposé will help the judiciary’s ongoing fight against corruption within its ranks.
“A Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council was constituted to investigate the petition against the 22 judges and magistrates. It is a five-member Committee chaired by a justice of the Supreme Court.
“On September 7, 2015, the circuit judges and magistrates were served with letters stating the allegations against them and asked to submit their responses by September 9, 2015.
“The Judicial Council further decided that upon receipt of the responses, the 22 judges and magistrates have accordingly been suspended with effect from Thursday, September 10, 2015,” the statement said.
A total of 34 judges may face impeachment as the video expected to be aired on September 22, entangles them in the damning corruption scandal.
One of the high-profile judges, Justice John Ajet-Nassam, a High Court Judge, who freed Alfred Agbesi Woyome in the controversial Gh¢51 million judgment debt scandal was videotaped and audio recorded in separate conversations with suspects or persons acting as agents of suspects before him to compromise big cases.
Other judges are Human Rights Court judge Kofi Essel Mensah and Charles Quist; a High Court Judge.
The over two years painstaking investigations by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas will be released in full in the coming weeks, ahead of a premiere at the Accra International Conference Centre.