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Cases before implicated judges reassigned to other judges

Cases pending before some of the judges implicated in the judicial bribery scandal have been reassigned to other judges.

Cases at the Land Courts 1 to 8, Criminal Courts, Probate and Letters of Administration Courts, the Commercial Courts amongst others, which were being heard by the indicted judges, will be now be heard by new judges.

Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, whose duty it is to assign cases to judges took the decision in view of the disciplinary proceedings instituted against the judges.

Ten High Court judges – seven of them currently on suspension – are being investigated by a committee set up by the Chief Justice.

They were captured on video allegedly receiving bribes to pervert justice in respect of cases before them.

Apart from the High Court judges, 22 other lower court judges – magistrates and circuit court judges – have also been suspended.

Disciplinary proceedings have commenced against them and a case brought by 14 of them to stop the process was thrown out.

There were questions as to whether the judges could continue to hear cases until the disciplinary procedures are concluded and a determination made.

Legal practitioner Ace Ankomah said even though the judges were entitled to a right to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, he didn’t think it was practically possible for them to adjudicate any matter whilst the allegations hung around their necks.

The reassignment of the cases may be an indication that the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council are determined to ensure that justice is not only done but is seen to be done.

Two of the High Court judges – Justices Paul Uuter Dery and Mohammed Habib Logoh are in court challenging the processes against them.

The two were not suspended like their colleagues but this was because of their pending actions in court.

Cases pending before Justice Logoh have however been reassigned to Justice Sophia Rosetta Bernasko Essah.

Justice K.A Ofori-Atta will now hear cases that were pending before Justice Ernest Obimpeh at Land Court ‘2’.

Curiously, Justice Kofi Essel Mensah also cited in the scandal, has assigned to assigned cases he was already hearing despite the fact that he is under suspension.

It is unclear if this is a mistake but the list obviously is not exhaustive because many of the judges have not been mentioned in the reassignment notice.

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