Nearly three months after journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas‘ (pictured center) documentary debuted in Ghana — showing seven High Court judges and 22 lower court judges allegedly demanding bribes and sex — a number of judges and magistrates have been fired, reports BBC.
In “Ghana in the Eyes of God, Epic of Injustice” Anas went undercover to expose judges who routinely asked for bribes in court cases.
In perfect Anas style, he posed as a “friend” and/or “relative” of an accused individual for two years, while he offered presiding judges money — and even a goat — to ensure that his friend would receive a shorter sentence.
Twelve high court judges and 22 lower court judges would accept the bribes, with the crimes well-documented in the secretly filmed “Ghana in the Eyes of God.“
The documentary filled movie houses throughout Accra and Kumasi, creating one of the biggest scandals the West African nation has ever seen.
At the time, Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood declared a “prima facie case of stated misbehavior” against the judges; the implicated judges were suspended and an inquiry was initiated to determine guilt.
This week, Wood announced that 20 judges and magistrates from the lower court had been dismissed.
During the announcement, Wood assured the public that in addition to the firings, “[the judicial council would take] prompt and resolute [action to] redeem [the judiciary].”
Alex Poku Acheampong, the Judicial council secretary, added that some of those who had lost their positions also lost their benefits.
However, Acheampong would also explain that in spite of their offenses, some of the offending judges were retained since they apologized “profusely” for their behavior.
This decision to keep some of the offending judges is controversial, with many saying they will push for the full prosecution of each offending judge.
The inquiry for the 12 Higher Court judges is still ongoing.