A private legal practitioner Samson Lardy Anyenini says damming video exposing corruption in the judiciary is not all doom and gloom because there were judges who strongly refused to be bribed and therefore ought to be celebrated.
Ghanaians he said ought to “celebrate those other judges who warned threatened and got to the point of throwing into jail those who thought of suggesting to them that they could be bribed”.
Public confidence in the judiciary has been shaken to the core after Anas Aremeyaw Anas recorded judges falling for bribes to free armed robbers and rapists.
The brides were not only monies but also snails, tubers of yam, goats and a niece for sex.
About 22 circuit court judges and magistrates have been suspended and 12 High Court judges are under investigations.
Samson decried the popular practice in some courts where clerks collect money without giving receipts before doing a simple task as marking an exhibit or evidence tendered in court.
“Lawyers need introspection and to resolve to stop encourage petty corruption with clerks, typists, bailiffs and other court officials. How may don't pay exhibits fees (not determined in compliance with due process) without demanding receipts and often denying the state of those funds?”
“How many don't pay before clerks and typist get that critical injunction order or preservation order granted by a judge ready? How many don't pay bailiffs extra transport before they serve processes for which clients have already paid transport fees”
“It is almost like a tradition to pay......almost everybody is paying,” he expressed frustration.
With the confidence of many shaken, questions are being asked if judges, lawyers and court officials can be trusted to do their jobs honestly and with integrity.
Samson Lardy believes there are good judges other public officials who do business in the courts.
Giving an example, Samson recalled that although no formal complaint was made a certain judge, he voluntarily wrote to and asked the Chief Justice to investigate him to clear him of rumours of wrongdoing.
He also praised a state attorney Rebecca Naa Koror Ayittey who was so unyielding and unwilling to be part of a bribery plot.
He said a judge told clients of a murder suspect that although he was willing to reduce a sentence of murder to manslaughter, the state prosecutor Naa Ayittey was too difficult and would not badge to his attempt.
She is a shining example that it is not fair to ridicule or bastardise lawyers working in the Attorney-General’s Department, he said.
“There are good ones living up to their calling and oath” Samson Lardy maintains. “Pull out those that deserve to be celebrated” he advocates.
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