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General News of Monday, 26 October 2015

Source: Daily Guide

Anas new video pops up

Anas Aremeyaw Anas - Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas - Investigative journalist

Lawyers representing some court clerks indicted in the Anas Aremeyaw Anas judicial bribery and corruption scandal were confronted with new videos showing their clients allegedly receiving bribes.

The lawyers were stunned when ‘strange’ scenes supposedly captured by the investigative journalist appeared in the videos shown at the sitting of the Chief Justice Committee probing the Judicial Service staff, mostly court clerks, on Friday.

DAILY GUIDE’s deep throat sources claim that the lawyers alleged that ‘some’ scenes in the videos were new to them as they were not contained in what was given to them.

According to a source, a lawyer representing some of the implicated staff remarked, “We have been taken by surprise in this presentation; there are other scenes we have not seen…this was not part of the ones given to us.”

The source stated that the five-member Committee chaired by Aboagye Tandoh, a circuit court judge, said they wanted to watch the videos while the ‘surprised’ lawyers requested for copies of the ‘strange’ scenes.

Beyond the appearance of strange videos at the sittings, the source further stated that two of the indicted Judicial Service staff expected to appear before the Committee were absent.

The source indicated that one other staff from Tamale was indisposed while the other did not show up, adding that “their lawyers asked for an adjournment and it was granted.”

Anas, who still appeared hooded with two others, was making his presentation in respect of the audio-visual recordings which captured over 180 staff of the Judicial Service taking bribes and demanding for sexual affairs to influence judgment or acting as middlemen for some judges.

On Wednesday, Egbert Faibille Jnr, lawyer for Gabriel Achana, one of the clerks, walked out of the Committee sitting after a botched attempt to persuade it (Committee) to ask the investigative journalist to remove the mask.

He reportedly asked the two other hooded men who usually accompanied Anas to the Committee to go out leaving the ‘real Anas’ behind.

But the Committee held that the two other hooded men were also representatives of Tiger Eye PI – Anas’ investigative company – and could not excuse the Committee in that regard.

The Committee further contended that Anas could not be unmasked because he was protected under the Whistle Blowers Act and was also covered by immunity.

Other members of the panel are Derrick Annan, John Bannerman, Chief Registrar of Courts; Nana Opoku Asumani, Secretary; Patricia Quansah, a Circuit Court Judge and Frederick Baidoo, Deputy Director of Human Resource of the Judicial Service.

Anas’ private investigative company, Tiger Eye PI, conducted a two-year investigation which produced a 500-hour video depicting 34 judges and magistrates, more than 100 court clerks, seven policemen, five state attorneys and bail contractors engaging in bribery and extortion.

Meanwhile, another high court judge will take his turn before the Justice Sophia Akuffo Committee probing the seven superior court judges in the bribery scandal.

Each of the seven judges has been given a week to put up a defence, if any, before the Judicial Committee investigating the case.

Between now and December 11, each of the judges will have a full week session with the Committee where they will be required to defend themselves in respect of the allegations levelled against them in a bid to avoid being removed as judges.

They will have the opportunity to respond to the bribery allegations and cross-examine Anas.

The seven are Justices John Ajet-Nasam, Ivy Heward-Mills, Francis K. Opoku, Kofi Essel Mensah, Ernest Obimpeh, Kwame Ohene Essel and Gilbert Ayisi Addo.

Justice John Ajet-Nasam, who was expected to have appeared before the Committee last week, was nowhere to be found.

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