..The complex web of deep-seated corruption in the Judiciary, many more to fall
Anas Aremeyaw Anas Reports, Financial Court, Accra
He is dressed and addressed as an upright Lord,
In court, he courts reverence like God
His wig, as worn from age to age,
Depicts him as a seasoned sage,
Among court mores which have long thrived,
Once the feared good Lord has arrived,
All must rise till he is seated.
Woe, if his wrath is heated!
Wielding the power of life and death,
The judge represents God on earth.
In fact, although this may sound odd,
Men fear the judge far more than God.
Reverence is not the same for both.
The proof is how most treat the oath.
Vows in the name of the most High
Are no hitches when people lie.
So though they know God is greater,
They’d lie now and beg Him later.
This dreaded judge’s sheer presence
Devalues even God’s essence
Yet he cedes this matchless sanctity
For transient worldly vanity!
Republic v Frank Kpemli, Richard Afari, Bernard Sallah, Mohammed Sanusi
Money involved: GHc 16,000
Connection man: King Gabriel (court clerk)
Facts Of The Case
Bernard Sallah, together with three others was facing trial at the High Court for offences of stealing and conspiracy to steal among others. They were alleged to have stolen Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) bank (Ghana Commercial Bank) cheque booklets, forged the signature of the General Manager, Finance and the Deputy Managing Director who are the signatories to those cheques, and managed to cash close to GHc 1,000,000.
What our recce revealed
We decided to use this case as our point of contact though we knew not who was involved. How were we to push our agenda through? How were we to get to the judges to fathom what they do when offered money to twist the neck of justice?
At the court premises, our recce unearthed one powerful person among the clerks, King Gabriel. Although he was on leave, everybody pointed him out as the one who mattered if we really wanted to do serious business with the judges.
Even when our recce indicated his mission was urgent, he was told that if he really needed results, then it was worth waiting for King Gabriel himself. Often referred to as the doyen of the court, he was universally regarded as the most reliable intermediary between the judges and those who needed their special favors.
King Gabriel was reputed to be a shrewd and experienced negotiator who had an encyclopedic knowledge of the inner workings of the courts.
A long – serving court clerk attached to the Financial Court (2) in Accra, over the period of our investigations, we realized that he was a very strong confidant, not just of Ajet Nassam but of some other big judges too.
King Gabriel literally goes bribe hunting for judges, liaising between litigants and judges to decide how much bribes would be taken in respect of particular cases.
We took his contact details and called him, following which an initial meeting was arranged at the premises of the courts. At this meeting, a ‘kola’ (a commitment fee) of GH¢ 200 was paid to King Gabriel for starters.
Tiger’s interest was to find out whether we could buy freedom for an accused person, one Bernard Sallah, with whom we had had no prior relationship or contact whatsoever, and whether his poor cohorts in crime, who had no such powerful interveners like us, would be dumped in jail.