General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
The three justices of the high court who were sacked by President Nana Akufo-Addo for allegedly taking bribes to warp justice have filed a fresh suit at the Court of Justice of The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria challenging their dismissal by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
A statement signed by the Communication Director of the presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin, announcing the sacking of the justices, said: “The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has, by letter dated Thursday, 6th December 2018, removed Mr Justice Ayisi Addo, Mr Justice Uuter Paul Dery, and Mr Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, from office as Justices of the High Court”.
The three justices were part of over 30 judges caught taking bribes in an undercover investigation done by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in 2015.
But Counsel for the judges, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, on Wednesday, 19 December 2018, filed a fresh case at the ECWOAS court for his clients’ reinstatement.
The application is for the enforcement of the human rights of the applicants (judges) pursuant to Articles 9(4) and 10(d) of the Community Court of Justice Protocol a/p.1/07/91 and Supplementary Protocol a/sp.1 /01/05 respectively.
They are seeking the following reliefs:
1. A declaration that the removal of the Applicants from office as Justices of the High Court by the Defendant violates the Applicants rights to fair hearing as enshrined in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
2. A declaration that the determination by the defendant that the Applicants have committed a criminal offence under the laws of Ghana without giving the Applicants a hearing violates the Applicants rights to fair trial as enshrined in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
3. An order nullifying the disciplinary committee’s report.
4. An order restraining the Ghana Police Service or any institution from taking any action on the disciplinary committee’s report.
5. An order reinstating the Applicants in office with full benefits and without loss of seniority.
6. An order of compensation for breach of the Applicants’ rights.
The application further stated that the defendant constituted a committee “in violation of the Applicants’ rights to be heard, conducted the said investigations in the absence of the Applicants and found them culpable and recommended their removal from office”.
“My Lords, the committee also established that Applicants committed a criminal offence. The Defendant, thus, directs that the committee’s report be submitted to the Police for further action. My Lords, it is respectfully submitted that the Defendant violated the Applicants rights to a fair hearing and fair trial as enshrined in international treaties to which the Defendant is a party. The Applicant thus invokes the jurisdiction of this court for the rights endorsed herein,” parts of the suit stated.