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It's only in Ghana that 'Court gymnastics' but not credible evidence, win a litigant its case

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah

Tue, 13 Jul 2021 Source: Rockson Adofo

For how long will the courts in Ghana be allowed to corruptly decide cases? It has often been alleged, and at times by empirical observation, that some judges in Ghana do decide cases in favour of the highest bidder. This was proven by the disgraced Ghana’s ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, when he conducted investigations into judicial corruption in Ghana.

Although his modus operandi employed was more of blackmailing, setup and criminal in nature, he was however able to fish out corrupt judges who readily accepted sheep, goat, farm produce, cash or promise of favour to twist justice in favour of those litigants allegedly supported by Anas.

Is there any wonder a chief could seek to bribe the Chief Justice on the advice of his lawyer to help twist justice in his favour in his lawsuit against the Ghana Telecommunications Co. Ltd? The chief and his lawyer had agreed on performing judicial “ways and means” in what they call as “gymnastics” to compel the judges sitting on his case to declare verdict in his favour.

I all the while, suspected that some judges were taking bribes to twist judgment in favour of otherwise would-be guilty parties in lawsuits brought before their court. However, little did I know that such payments of bribes were to somersault the brains of the judges to confuse them to see black as white and vice versa, hence declaring verdicts wrongly in favour of those that grease their palms with wads of American dollars or Ghana Cedis, even though facts and available credible evidence find them guilty.

Anyway, if the chief has a strong case and hopes to win on the merit of his evidence as alleged, why did he seek to bribe the Chief Justice to the tune of US$5million? Who are those political heavy weights that arranged for him to bribe the Chief Justice? Has the chief personally met the Chief Justice and if yes, for what reason? Who did he give any money to, to be taken to the Chief Justice? How and when did the chief come to the realisation that his lawyer had duped him hence asked for the refund of his money paid to the lawyer?

I don’t believe that the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah would, or had agreed to, take bribe from the chief, although, “there's no art to find the mind's construction in the face.”

I have heard that some lazy Ghanaians who are actually criminals, often hover around the premises of high courts and do approach litigants to allow them to assist them. They will tell you they know the judge sitting in court A, B or C, who is dealing with your case and if you do agree, they could help you. They will ask you to give them a bribe to be passed on to the judge to influence him to decide the case in your favour.

I understand some of them just squander the money without passing it on to the judge. Why should lazy people be allowed to prowl the corridors of the courts asking for bribes to induce judges without the knowledge of the judges? And, why should judges accept bribes before they could pass judgment?

In the case of chief Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI and his sacked lawyer Kwasi Afrifa, should they be found to have lied or committed any crime, they must be punished. Should the Chief Justice be found to have taken bribe as alleged, he must be punished by removal from office and prosecution.

The Chief Justice as I have been following the cases he presides over very closely will never involve himself in such bribery acts. However, the investigations and referral to the General Legal Council as he has ordered, will uncover any hidden secrets to prove him guilty or innocent.

Until then, let me end by emphasising and warning that there will be no “gymnastics” in the determination of the Kumawu chieftaincy case pending before the highest court of the land. Should the case ever be decided based on some court somersaults or gymnastics of some kind but not on the law, court rules, precedents and more importantly, on the facts and availability of credible, permissible and acceptable evidence, then the no-nonsense son of Kumawu/Asiampa will be heard deafening and clearer than he has ever been heard before.

We have to stop the nonsensical ongoing judicial corruption in the nation that has been denying innocent but poor Ghanaians justice for far too long.

Judicial corruption in Ghana is the bane of the economic development of the country. We have to fight to eradicate it with any powerful tool we lay hands on.

Columnist: Rockson Adofo