Justices Yaw Ansu Gyeabuor (retd) and Justice F.K. Opoku (retd), were among 12 High Court judges caught on camera allegedly receiving bribes to tilt the scale of justice but they are currently on retirement.
A petition dated September 28, 2015, signed by Anas, addressed to the IGP and copied to the Attorney-General, said “I, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in my capacity as a citizen of Ghana, and by profession an investigative journalist and a lawyer, humbly file this petition, requesting for the investigation and arrest of Justice Yaw Ansu Gyeabuor (retd) and Justice F.K. Opoku (retd).”
Stating the basis for his request, Anas said “I have information that the two retired Justices of the High Court may possibly leave the jurisdiction due to the ripple effect of the documentary ‘Ghana in the Eyes of God."
The documentary implicates both of them in the act of corruption as public officers and also as persons who whilst occupying a public office as judges, dishonestly abused their office for private benefit and profit.
These two judges cannot be submitted to the impeachment process as laid down by the 1992 Constitution for their impeachment based on stated misbehaviour due to the fact that they are retired.
According to the petition, as a result of the two being on retirement, the Chief Justice did not invite them to respond to the allegations of crime against them contained in the documentary.
“This means that the two of them are not encumbered in any manner and can leave the jurisdiction of this country as they wish. They may decide also not to return for as long as they wish,” the petition stated.
Particulars of Offence
According to Anas, he paid the bribe to Justice Ansu-Gyeabour, then the High Court Judge for Tamale, on July 24, 2014, to free an accused person charged with defilement.
“We paid the bribe amount to the justice in his official bungalow at Kukuo in Tamale. I visited Justice Ansu Gyeabuor in his home and dutifully explained to him that the girl in question was over 16 years. I then added an amount of GH¢2,000, which had already been negotiated through his driver to make the explanation more plausible. We later sent him yam, a guinea fowl and additional GH¢200.”
With regard to Justice F.K. Opoku, then with the Bolgatanga High Court, the petition said he took the bribe at his official bungalow.
It said Justice Opoku accepted GH¢ 1,500 from him after Anas had gone to the judge’s house to explain matters to him with reference to child custody issues. Anas attached the pictures and videos detailing the alleged criminal act of the two retired judges.
Thirty-four judges and magistrates and more than 100 members of staff of the Judicial Service have been caught on tape receiving bribes to compromise cases. They are currently being investigated by their employer.