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25 June 2016

Mahama sacks another judge over Anas’ exposé

Two more high court judges sacked over corruption1Another High court judge cited in the infamous judicial corruption scandal uncovered by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, and his Tiger Eye PI firm, has been removed from office effective June 20, 2016.

Ivy Heward Mills is the latest casualty in the ongoing investigations of misconduct against some of the country’s judges both at the lower and high courts, who were captured on video, taking bribes to influence justice.

According to a statement signed by first deputy Judicial Secretary Justice Juliana Amonoo-Neizer, Ivy Heward Mills was “found culpable” in the scandal uncovered by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas of Tigereyepi.

Some 22 lower court judges and 12 High Court judges were captured on video in a two-year investigative piece by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, allegedly taking bribes to influence justice. So far, about 20 of the lower court judges have been removed from office.  Already, three High Court judges, namely Justice Kofi Essel Mensah, Justice Francis K. Opoku, and Justice John Ajet Nassam have been sacked in that regard.

The Judicial Service thus directed the Director of Human Resource to “delete her name from the payroll of the Judicial Service with effect from June 20, 2016.

” The decision to remove her from office followed a recommendation by the committee set up by the Lady Chief Justice Georgina Wood, to investigate a petition from Anas Aremeyaw Anas of Tigereyepi  on grounds of Stated Misbehavior.

President Mahama accused of ‘bribery’ The removal of the judge comes at a time  when the President, John Dramani Mahama, has been accused of accepting a  ‘bribe’ in the form of a Ford Expedition vehicle given to him as a ‘gift’ by a Burkinabe contractor, who was seeking contracts from government, and eventually executed two contracts.

He took the ‘gift’ in 2012 when he was Vice President. Some members of the public have questioned why members of the judiciary are being dismissed for similarly accepting bribes lesser than the President’s $100,000 car gift to influence justice.

Government has admitted that, although the President accepted the gift, he did not use it personally since it was added to the pool of government vehicles. It thus absorbed the President from any act of corruption or conflict of interest.

The President has vehemently rubbished the allegations of bribery, urging his critics to use the courts to pursue him. Already, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has received two petitions asking it to investigate the President for the acceptance of the gift and the circumstances surrounding it. Below is the full statement on the dismissal of Justice Ivy Heward Mills

 

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According to the statement the Committee during its investigations into the petition by Anas Aremeyaw Anas of Tigereyepi found that Justice Ivy Heward Mills:

  • Contrary to rules 3 (7) and 4 (A) of the Code of Conduct for Judges and Magistrates did not only engage in ex-parte communications on the suit, Nana Kofi Annan & Or. Vs John Kojo Bobbie which was pending before her but also advised the defendants in the suit on the best approach to defend the case against the plaintiff.
  • While denying that she did not accept any amount of money from the petitioner’s team mates in her chambers, this may be accepted, but her explanation that, what the petitioner’s team mate gave her in her car at the Aggrey Memorial School Junction was an invitation card to a social event was unacceptable.
  • Rather, it was money she accepted to influence her ruling in accordance with agreement reached as a result of discussion held with the petitioner’s team mate.”

She has therefore been asked to “hand over her bungalow and all official properties in her possession including her official government vehicle, dockets and record books to the judicial secretary,” the statement added.

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana

 

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