A freelance journalist and a confidant of Justice Ernest Obimpeh, one of the dismissed High Court judges, Nana Ofori Atta, is claiming that Anas Aremeyaw Anas entrapped Justice Ernest Obimpeh through his clerk known as Gabriel Bentum.
According to him, his investigations after the exposé revealed that the clerk, Gabriel Bentum, when transferred from Takoradi High Court to Justice Obimpeh’s court exhibited some traits which were uncalled for so the judge in his wisdom wrote a report to the judiciary council demanding that the clerk is changed.
Nana Ofori Atta told the host of ‘Hot FM’s Ghana Must Know’ program Justice Kwaku Annan that the clerk during court hours will be seen outside discussing some of the cases with the parties involved.
He said when Gabriel was called by the leadership of the council, he vehemently denied all the allegations levelled against him by Justice Obimpeh.
“During that time, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI have started their investigations into the judiciary, therefore, they contacted Gabriel to conspire with him to entrap Justice Obimpeh,” Nana Ofori Atta narrated.
Recounting what really made Anas’ team conspire with Gabriel Bentum, the journalist said, “there was a robbery case which involves one Tettey from Tema New Town who had shot a police officer at a commercial bank in Tema, so the case was at Cocoa Affairs High Court 2 where Justice Obimpeh presides.”
“Anas and his Tiger Eye PI investigated the case, contacted Gabriel Bentum to lead them to the High Court judge. Gabriel then led 3 members of Tiger Eye PI to Justice Obimpeh’s office to discuss the case involving Tettey. The judge then advised them to wait when the case is over and they are unhappy about it, they can appeal,” he added.
Nana Ofori Atta noted that the Tiger Eye PI team members were not pleased with Justice Obimpeh’s response therefore after some time, the Tiger Eye PI members came back again and through Gabriel, they met the High Court judge for the second time.
He stated that at the time the Tiger Eye PI team met the judge again, he was about to leave his chambers at the Cocoa Affairs Court to his house, so he gave his documents to Gabriel who took it to his car while he attended to the visitors.
“Gabriel took Justice Obimpeh’s car keys from his driver, opened his car boot but whilst the document in his boot, he saw two people from Tiger Eye PI standing by with a goat,” Nana Ofori Atta said.
“After Gabriel had placed the judge’s documents in the car of the judge, the Tiger Eye PI team member standing by with the goat decided to also put the goat into the boot of the car without the knowledge of Justice Obimpeh, since he was still engaged by some members of Tiger Eye PI in his chambers, but Gabriel told them to hold on,” Nana Ofori added.
He said after the meeting, the Tiger Eye PI members standing by with the goat then decided to put the goat in the boot of Justice Obimpeh's car as it was captured by Anas in his investigative exposé but Justice Obimpeh later realised the goat was not in his car.
Nana Ofori insisted that Justice Obimpeh did not receive any money from the Tiger Eye PI members.
He said “after they pretended the goat had been placed in the boot of Justice Obimpeh’s car, two of Tiger Eye PI team members together with Gabriel Bentum went to the judge to bid him farewell. While talking to him, one of the Tiger Eye PI team members in a black jacket with a bag hanging around him decided to take out money from the bag and gave to the judge."
“At the time Gabriel had his hands in the car but the judge was not looking at their direction so immediately the Tiger Eye PI member removed the money someone received it, it was not Justice Obimpeh but rather Gabriel Bentum the court clerk,” this is according to Nana Ofori Atta.
Nana Ofori emphatically stated that there is no way Justice Obimpeh could receive such amount from Tiger Eye PI as revealed by Anas’ investigation.
“Justice Obimpeh is fair in complexion and if you watch Anas' video closely, the hand of the person who received the money was the hand of a dark person wearing a black jacket. On the said day, Justice Obimpeh was not wearing a black jacket,” he noted.
Nana Ofori Atta dared the investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas to come clear, give details of the currency denomination which he gave Justice Obimpeh and details of Justice Obimpeh's residence.
He said due to how the case ended and how embarrassing the whole situation was, Justice Obimpeh has turned to the Supreme Court of Ghana to seek justice.
Former President John Dramani Mahama directed the removal of Justice John Ajet-Nasam and Justice Ernest Obimpeh from office as Justices of the High Court on grounds of stated misbehaviour.
It followed President Mahama’s acceptance of the recommendations of a Five- Member Impeachment Committee that investigated their conduct in accordance with article 146 of the 1992 Constitution. The Committee was chaired by a Justice of the Supreme Court.
In a statement signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong, the Chief Justice in August last 2015 received 2 petitions from Tiger Eye PI, one was in respect of 12 High Court Judges while the other was on 22 Circuit Court Judges and Magistrates.
The Petition against the High Court Judges requested the President to initiate impeachment proceedings against them in accordance with article 146 of the Constitution.