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General News of Saturday, 10 October 2015

Source: GNA

Appeal Court Justices assume High Court duties

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Fifteen Justices of the Court of Appeal have signed up to undertake additional High Court responsibilities principally to make up for the short fall arising from the pending impeachment proceedings.

The Justices apart from their appellate duties would now sit and hear cases on a regular basis until the return to the state of normalcy, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, the Chief Justice stated on Friday at the commissioning of the ultra-modern court complex in Accra.

Seven of the 12 implicated High Court judges in the corruption scandal following an exposure by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas were on October 5, suspended, on grounds of stated misconduct.

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

A statement signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Alex Poku-Acheampong and issue to the Ghana News Agency in Accra stated.

The statement said their suspension follows the establishment of a prima facie case of stated misbehaviour against them by the Chief Justice pursuant to Article 146(3) of the 1992 Constitution and the setting up of a committee under Article 146(4) to investigate a petition.

It said the justices were suspended with immediate effect on the advice of the Judicial Council and was given approval by the Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, acting in his capacity as President.

According to the statement, the Chief Justice had decided to suspend the determination of a prima facie case in respect of Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh and Justice Paul Uuter Dery, who were cited in the petition as a result of the actions instituted by them against her and Tigereyepi, which are pending in court.

It also noted that the proceedings against Justice Charles Quist have been deferred on grounds of ill health following a medical report submitted by his physician on the grounds of his state of health.

A total of 34 judges are being investigated following the three-hour documentary by Anas revealing how they took bribes to throw away cases before them.

The court complex is made up 42 courtrooms, would house the 10 land courts, 10 commercial courts, six criminal courts, six general jurisdiction court, three divorce and matrimonial courts, two financial and economic courts, two human rights courts, two labour courts and a Probate and Administration court.

The court complex has banking facilities cafeteria, 300 seater auditorium, library, a business center, Media centre.

Press briefing room, Executive office for the Attorney General and Police Prosecutor and a data centre are among the facilities.

Late President John Evans Atta Mills four years ago cut the sod for the construction of the complex to replace the dilapidated courts known as the cocoa affairs Court.

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