22 Ghana Judges Suspended Over Bribery Scandal

.Ghana’s Chief Justice, Theodora Wood: Suspends some judges over allegation of bribery –

Reports from Accra say Ghana has suspended 22 of the 34 judges and magistrates accused of taking bribes and extorting money, in the biggest corruption scandal to hit its judiciary.

Eyeonthenews.com on Thursday gathered that the 22 judges will remain suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary inquiry.

The inquiry, ordered by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has started in the capital, Accra. It is being held behind closed doors.

According to a bbc reporter in Ghana, the accused have not yet publicly commented on the allegations. A total of 180 court officials are facing dismissal procedures, in a case that has gripped the attention of Ghanaians.

They include the 22 lower court judges and magistrates who had been suspended, and 12 High Court judges, it was gathered.

The chief justice had started the process of determining whether there was a “prima facie” case against the 12, said judicial secretary Justice Alex Poku-Agheampong in a statement.

The other 22 had been suspended after the judicial council wrote to them about the allegations they faced, and received a response, he added.

Their suspension would stay in place until a “final determination of the matter”, Justice Poku-Agheampong said.

The bbc report claims that the disciplinary inquiry is being held behind closed doors at the Supreme Court building, while the judges and magistrates were present with their lawyers.

The chief justice acted after a two-year investigation by a top Ghanaian journalist who says he has evidence showing that judges and magistrates had taken bribes and extorted money.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas said he had nearly 500 hours of video evidence on tape, which had been handed over to the chief justice. The attorney-general has granted him immunity under the whistle-blower act to pursue the story.

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