Ghana’s government has suspended seven out of 12 High Court judges in the wake of allegations of bribery, stemming from a documentary made by an investigative journalist.
The development followed a public outcry after the judges accepted bribe money through intermediaries, as shown in a three-hour film last month in Accra.
Ghana’s judiciary is revered for its efficacy and impartiality and seen as a bulwark of society that prides itself on its reputation as one of Africa’s most stable and peaceful democracies.
However, the documentary put Chief Justice Georgina Wood and other judicial leaders under pressure to show a forceful public response.
The Judicial Council in a statement said “the judges’ suspension follow the establishment of a prima facie case of stated misbehaviour against them by the Hon. Lady Chief Justice (Wood)”.
The Council had previously suspended 22 junior judges who appeared in the video and investigated the conduct of high court judges to see if there was a case for their impeachment.
Some of the judges had denied any wrongdoing and had filed a challenge in court, saying their suspension had no legal basis because documents relating to the video that were submitted by the journalist were not made available to them.