22 judges implicated in the judicial corruption scandal have been suspended by the Judicial Council as the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Woode orders investigations into the matter.
The Chief Justice has also started the process of determining whether there is a prima facie case against each of the 12 High Court judges.According to a statement from the Judicial Council, a petition for the removal from office of the 22 Circuit Court Judges and Magistrates was directed to the Chief Justice to deal with, under Article 151 of the Constitution.
An Emergency Judicial Council meeting was held on 2nd September, 2015 to discuss the matter and the following decisions and measures were taken.
1. A Disciplinary Committee of the Judical Council was constituted to investigate the petition against the 22 Judges and Magistrates. It is a five -member Committee chaired by a Justice of the Supreme Court.
2. On September 7, 2015, the 22 Circuit Judges and Magistrates were served with letters stating the allegations against them and were asked to submit their responses by September 9, 2015.
3. The Judicial Council further decided that upon receipt of their responses the 22 individuals should be suspended until the final determination of the matter.
Smoke them out
Other court officials who may have collaborated in these alleged acts of are also going to be pursued according to the Chief Justice.
The Judicial Council has started the investigative processes to identify these officials and discipline them, if found culpable.
“The Judicial Council would like to assure the general public that the outcome of these processes would be made fully public and no one will be spared appropriate sanctions where culpability is established,” the statement said.
It further said the Council fully reckons that the perception or actuality of corruption in the Judiciary “undemines confidence in the institution and cannot be tolerated to continue in any shape or form, hence the need to act with utmost dispatch.”
By: Nana Boakye-Yiadom/Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana