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Opinions of Monday, 12 October 2015

Columnist: Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey

Arrest Anas – Demands Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey

Opinion Opinion

Reader, I am not happy at all.

All over the country today, the hottest subject of discussion is the bribery scandal exposed in the Judiciary. All the international media networks have picked it up, the 34 Judges in Ghana; embroiled in bribery.

Our name, as a nation, is being bandied about like a chamber pot. Investor confidence in the Ghanaian judiciary has been seriously dented and the remaining Judges who are sitting today feel so vulnerable they can hardly breathe.

I am sorry, but I hold a different view.

Of course as a Court going lawyer I know too well that all the Judges are not saints, they are human beings, and some of them are fallible.

I once made an application for bail before a certain Judge, and to the surprise of all us lawyers in the Courtroom, the Judge granted bail to the Kingpin of the crime, the 1st accused, and remanded the remaining 4 accused persons!!!

The examples are many, but the system is such that devious ones regularly get smoked out, even if the process is at times slow and debilitating.

I read the article written by Elizabeth Ohene the other day and she was making a very valid point – that some policemen are corrupt, some politicians are corrupt, some teachers are corrupt – so if some judges are corrupt – is it surprising?

But you see, reader, the greatest problem with the judiciary, all over the world, if you like ask any lawyer, is that the law is FORTY PER CENT statute and SIXTY per cent DISCRETIONARY!!!

Give two judges the same set of facts and it is most likely you will get two different results- because of the discretionary aspect of the law; and that is why in every judiciary, the appellate system is INVIOLATE.

Across twenty nine years of regular practice, I have seen several cases dance through the Courts – the High Court gives judgement to side A and on appeal side B wins and the Supreme Court restores the judgement of side A. It is even more interesting in chieftaincy tribunals – the Judicial Committee of the Traditional Council decides for A, then the Regional House sets it aside, and National House affirms it only for Supreme Court to restore the Judicial Committee’s decision at the Traditional Council.

Early in my practice in 1987, I had a snack in the lawyers’ canteen with the late Justice Apatu Plange who was removed by Rawlings from the bench and we were chatting generally, on issues from Adam to Zoology and when corruption among judges cropped up, he said something I have never forgotten:

“Of course, it is true some judges take bribes, but you see those who are intelligent when they take bribes, they will spend time to write a solid well reasoned judgement – because of the discretionary factor – take the judgement anywhere and it will be affirmed.”

So, the bottom line is that yes, some judges, as normal human beings, are corrupt, BUT HOW DO YOU CATCH THEM?

Our Lord Jesus Christ taught his disciples that when you pray, first of all praise the Lord, as our Father in Heaven, acknowledge Him, then make specific requests – LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION!!!!!!!!!!!! !

The other day in Accra Ridge Church, in the 1980’s a certain pastor was preaching, and he related how he travelled to Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, and late in the night, alone in bed, he heard a knock on his door – “Room Service” and in entered a hotel staff – female – tall, with flesh at the right places, well proportioned sex symbol, fabulously endowed ……………. standing there………….

Reader, LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION!!!!!!!!!!

One of the reasons why I, Nkrabeah Effah Dartey will NEVER want to be a Judge is that I look at the conditions of service of the Judiciary, which is supposed to be the best in the public service, and I quiver. Even the Chief Justice, how much is his or her pay? GH¢30,000 a month? If a private lawyer drafts one oil contract, he can go home with over GH¢100,000 !!!!!!!!

So Judges, like all Ghanaians living in an economy where one American dollar exchanges for 4 cedis is vulnerable, and can easily fall prey to temptation.

And Jesus said we should pray: LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.

That is why the law says DON’T GIVE BRIBES!!!!

He who gives bribes is as guilty as he who takes it.

It is a different thing if an ace investigator gets a tip off that Judge A is doing a particular case and that there is a strong perception that the judge wants to take bribe or that one of the parties want to influence the judge with bribe – then this our ace investigator will nose around and insert himself into the quadrangle of Judge, Court Clerk, lawyers and the party,
then sniff around holding the latest recording gadgets, and then presto!!!!!!! – catches them red handed in the act!!!!!!!!!!

But not this queer type of investigator who THINKS that some particular Judge MAY take a bribe in a particular case, then pretends a role as a party and then marches to the Judge to sell a story and plant money and take pictures as TIGER EYE!!!!!!!!

No!!!!!! I think this is immoral, I think it is highly unethical and is something that must be CONDEMED fully and wholly with all the vehemence we can command. It is a CRIME to attempt to influence a Judge with a bribe. Anas himself says that some judges drove him out
of their presence. Is that enough? Why not arrest him? Why not prosecute him for offering bribes to judges, with an aim to pervert the course of justice?

For me, I see no act of heroism and I think such dangerous species need to be bottled up for wilfully undermining the judiciary.

Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate, but can you look up to God and blame a Catholic father if alone in his study a female chorister enters wearing see through T shirt with hot pants exposing juicy mouth watering thighs pushing hard out of water melon size
behinds?

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION!!!! Arrest Anas and prosecute him as an example to all. He is a disgrace to our national psyche!!!!!!!!!!!!!