Lawyer Sosu said dismissing the indicted Judges will deter others from corrupting the country's judicial system
A Human Rights lawyer, Francis Sosu has commended the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council for taking steps to sanitise the nation’s judicial system following the bribery scandal which hit the sector.
He stated that the punishment meted out to the 20 lower court Judges will serve as a deterrent to others who may be engaging in such practices.
“Justice has been served and I believe this is going serve as a deterrent to other Judges who probably would want to engage in such acts of misbehaviour as in the case of these Judges, and I also believe that it will go a long way to restore confidence in the Judiciary and the justice delivery system in Ghana,” Lawyer Sosu said on Radio Ghana on Monday.
The Judicial Council on Monday announced the dismissal of 20 out of the 21 lower court Judges who had been indicted in the recent judicial corruption scandal, exposed by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Out of the 20, only four of the Judges will receive their end of service benefits.
According to lawyer Sosu, “the punishment is deterring considering the fact that they have been dismissed; not only dismissed but all their entitlements have been withheld – I believe that is a very, very, big loss for people who are occupying positions of honour.”
He said the withholding their end of service benefits is going to send “a lot of shivers down the spine of other Judges who have the tendency of taking bribes and who have the tendency of corrupting justice in this country.”
The Human Rights lawyer stated that although the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council thoroughly investigated the issue and those involved were given an opportunity to be heard, the dismissed Judges can challenge the Judicial Council’s in court.
“If they have any reason or any basis of challenging this decision, they can always resort to the court and challenge this decision. They still have the right to go to court to challenge the decision if they have a reason to believe that the decision is unfair and the decision is not properly established…” he said.
End of career
Mr. Sosu was optimistic that this may not be the end of the career of the dismissed Judges.
According to him, those who were career Magistrates may have come to the end of the road in their profession and may have to find another path of life.
However, those who were lawyers before becoming Circuit Court Judges can still practice as lawyers.
“They have been dismissed as Judges but they have not been debarred as lawyers so they can go and take back their law books and go and practice their law,” he said
Lawyer Sosu was worried that the dismissal will affect the administration of justice in Ghana.
“As we are aware, the judicial system is completely understaffed. When you look at the number of cases that are assigned to individual Judges, sometimes it’s completely unbelievable,” he said, adding that “in the interim, it will be difficult but in the medium term, new Judges will be recruited to fill in the gaps.”