Judicial system under CJ Anim Yeboah stinks – Okatakyie fires

The integrity of the judiciary in Ghana is waning due to the numerous bribery allegations levelled against it, says broadcaster Okatakyie Afrifa Mensah.

The host of ‘Asempa Yetia’ on Power 97.9 FM Wednesday night criticised the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah on his programme, saying he has lowered the standards of the Judiciary.

Okatakyie’s comment comes on the back of a revelation by the United States Department of State that some judges were  bribed to lose interest in some cases while being adjudicated.

The Report

Describing it as “unlawful influence and corruption,” the Department in its 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices stated that, “Judicial officials reportedly accepted bribes to expedite or postpone cases, “lose” records, or issue favourable rulings for the payer of the bribe.”

Although the 1992 Constitution requires every judge to be neutral when handling a case, some judges, according to the report, allowed themselves to be compromised.

Th Supreme court

“A judicial complaints unit within the Ministry of Justice headed by a retired Supreme Court justice addressed complaints from the public, such as unfair treatment by a court or judge, unlawful arrest or detention, missing trial dockets, delayed trials, and rendering of judgments, and bribery of judges,” the report added.

Flash Back

The revelation comes to reinforce an undercover by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas in 2015 that shook the foundation of the country.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas is an undercover journalist who does not show his face to the public

Twenty-two circuit court judges and magistrates and 12 High Court judges were implicated in the published audio and video clips.

The Worry

The firebrand broadcaster foresees a gloomy situation as the reports seems to dent the reputation of the Judiciary in Ghana under Chief Justice Anin Yeboah.

“Today, if you ask about 10 Ghanaians what they think about the judiciary, I can say on authority that 7 people will say they don’t trust the judiciary,” he said.

“We were here when judges came out to say that when their allowances delay, they often have to place calls to the presidency for intervention,“ Okatakyie contended.

What Did The Judges Say?

In September 2021, the President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) expressed serious concerns over the arduous process adjudicators go through in order to receive their allowances.

Justice Senyo Dzamefe who revealed that was speaking at the Association’s Annual General Meeting.

To him, the payment of allowances had now become a battleground as members of the judiciary have had to sometimes call in favours from people at the Presidency before they got paid.

Justice Dzamefe described the situation as saddening and stressed that it hindered the autonomy of the judicial arm of government.

“It is sad, that judges in Ghana will have to fight every year for their legitimate allowances to be paid. It is sad, that the leadership of the Association has to personally, trek to the Ministry of Finance, Controller and Accountant General Department, Auditor-General’s Department to fight before allowances are paid.

“We have to fall on friends at the seat of government to push for such allowances to be paid,” he said.

The Association’s President further noted that the erratic mode of payment of allowances has left many judges and magistrates frustrated, lamenting that “We feel disrespected about the way our allowances are paid as if it is a favour being done us.”

Okatakyie believes the Judiciary will definitely be controlled by the executive on the back of the unpleasant development, quizzing “tell me how such a judicial system can be impartial?“

“Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, I am telling you that the Judicial system under your watch stinks; it is rotten and that is the truth.

“And you can’t threaten us with contempt here. Just stop that. We know what we are talking about,” he stated.



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