Evidence of the extent of corruption at the judiciary was bared yesterday at the Accra International Conference Centre after the much hyped documentary on judicial corruption was premiered.
For many who watched the three-hour compilation by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team, the exposé painted a vivid but distressing picture of the extent of corruption among some members of the bench.
The auditorium of the Conference Centre in Accra, venue for the video titled ‘Ghana in the Eyes of God: Epic Injustice’, was punctuated with gasps and intermittent giggles as revered and respected judges were caught on camera taking the bait of bribery by undercover journalists.
Many high profile personalities who watched the video exited the packed auditorium with the repeated advice on the need for public office holders to act with integrity on their lips.
Others, however, could not hide their disgust and outrage.
Chairman of the National Peace Council, Rev. Emmanuel Asante, said the video shows Ghana is rotten.
“It is painful watching men and women charged to protect our rights compromise themselves with such careless abandon. This clearly shows how our own doings have made this country rotten and smelly” he said.
The National Peace Council Chair was however happy that not all the judges in the video were willing to bury justice for money.
He said the few judges who refused to take bribes and actually threatened to the cause the arrest of the ‘bribe givers’ represent the hope that all is not lost yet.
Another clergyman, Dr Opoku Onyina, who heads the Church of Pentecost in Ghana, described the video as worrying.
“As a people we need to examine our integrity, our conscience, and try to do things that will promote society”, he urged.
Trade Minister, Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah, was philosophical in his views.
“There are lessons for all segments of society; whether as journalists, parliamentarians, business people, church leaders and people who are in positions of trust”, he said.
He adds: “Whatever the positions are, people are expected by those who put them there to behave in a way that keeps their reputation and protect the particular institution”.
One of the twelve High Court judges implicated in the bribery scandal and perhaps the most outraged by the exposé is heading to the Supreme Court over the screening of the video.
Justice Paul Uuter Dery is expected to ask the Highest Court to declare a petition filed by Anas for his removal null and void.
Justice Dery has filed an avalanche of cases at the High Court since a bribery scandal that hit the country’s judiciary broke.
Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood has instituted measures to establish whether there is a prima facie case against 12 High Court judges and 22 lower court judges captured on video allegedly taking bribes.