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General News of Thursday, 10 May 2018


Judicial Corruption: High Court judge suspended twice for same offence?

A High Court judge already serving a suspension for bribery has been suspended again by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Nii Kpakpo Addo, counsel for the suspended Justice Gilbert Ayisi Addo is outraged at a letter from the President's Communications Director Eugene Arhin conveying the president's latest decision.

"He should do the needful and withdraw [the letter]", he fumed in an interview on Joy FM's Top Story Wednesday.

The suspended High Court judge is part of four other justices suspended by the President on the non-binding advice of the Judicial Council.

They are the casualties of a scandal that rocked the judiciary in 2015 after an undercover journalist Anas Aremyaw Anas filmed them trading justice for money and other items.

The Judicial Council followed up on the national shock by axing 20 circuit court judges and magistrates, a month after the documentary was screened at the Accra International Conference Center in Hollywood style.

More than 100 members of staff of the Judicial Service were implicated in the scandal.

Seven High Court judges were suspended and five - Justice Kofi Essel Mensah, Justice Ivy Heward Mills, Justice John Ajet-Nasam, Justice Ernest Obimpeh and Justice Francis K. Opoku - were later sacked in June 2016 based on the advice of the Judicial Council.

Four High Court judges during the investigations were put on administrative leave.

The affected judges - Justice Uuter Paul Dery, Mustapha Logoh, Charles Quist and Gilbert Ayisi Addo - were put on a half salary, denied their allowances and barred from sitting on the bench.

Several of these judges including Gilbert Ayisi Addo were filmed collecting 2,000 cedi bribe have challenged their suspension in court but the court has since thrown out the cases.

Then Vice-President Amissah-Arthur went a step further to suspend Gilbert Ayisi Addo in October 2015 based on the advice of the Judicial Council.

More than two years later, President Nana Akufo-Addo has also suspended Gilbert Ayisi Addo as well as the three other High Court judges on administrative leave.

The angry lawyer for suspended Justice Gilbert Ayisi Addo has informed the Communications Director Eugene Arhin to correct what he described as an error.

'Rather than being humble...he is trying to justify his mistake" he fired.

But Eugene Arhin has insisted there has been no mistake and told the lawyer to re-direct his frustrations and vent it on the Chief Justice who advised the President.

He said the president's decision was based on the advice by the Judicial Council of which the Chief Justice is part.

But the lawyer told Evans Mensah, he has no issues with the Chief Justice because she did not suspend his client nor is her advice on the suspension binding on the president.