Embattled High Court judge, Justice Paul Uuter Dery is heading to the Supreme Court over the screening of a video showing him and other judges allegedly taking bribes.
He is expected to ask the Highest Court to declare a petition filed by Anas Aremeyaw Anas for his removal null and void.
Justice Dery has filed an avalanche of cases at the High Court since a bribery scandal that hit the country’s judiciary broke.
Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood has instituted measures to establish whether there is a prima facie case against 12 High Court judges and 22 lower court judges captured on video allegedly taking bribes.
Undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas compiled audio-visual recordings over a period of two years and documented shocking acts of alleged bribery of judges who trade justice for pecuniary and other material benefits.
Justices Dery and Mohammed Habib Logoh have brought separate writs at the High Court contending the recordings were done in violation of their right to privacy.
They challenged the legality of impeachment proceedings instituted against them and asked the court to declare that the Chief Justice cannot rely on Anas’ illegally and unlawfully collected audio-visual recordings in determining whether or not they are guilty of the offence of bribery.
Justice Dery’s lawyer, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo Tuesday withdrew an application for interlocutory injunction against Anas and his private investigation company, Tiger Eye from airing the video.
He nonetheless filed another application for interlocutory injunction against managers of the Accra International Conference Centre, seeking to restrain them from allowing the centre to be used to screen the video.
Nii Kpakpo insisted that once the authorities had been served with these processes, they were stopped from allowing Tiger Eye PI to screen the video there.
Anas and his lawyers, however, insisted that they had a contract with the Accra International Conference Centre and therefore had a right to use the facility.
True to this, the screening came off as promised and many Ghanaians queued to enter the conference centre.
Following this, lawyers for Mr. Dery served notice they will be heading to the Supreme Court over the matter. Justice Dery is expected to pray the highest court of the land to declare that Anas’ petition to the president for his removal as a High Court judge is null and void.
He will be relying on Article 146 (8) of the Constitution which states: “All proceedings under this article shall be held in camera, and the Justice or Chairman against whom the petition is made is entitled to be heard in his defence by himself or by a lawyer or other expert of his choice.”
His lawyers are expected to argue that Anas, after petitioning the president to remove him from the bench because of the acts complained about on the video, violated the constitutional provisions by proceeding to make the evidence public.
They are taking a cue from a similar case in which private legal practitioner, Bright Akwetey petitioned the President to remove then Chief Justice, the late Justice George Kingsley Acquah.
Mr. Akwetey’s petition was leaked to the media.
One Twum brought a case at the Supreme Court against the Attorney-General, contending the leaking of the petition to the media was in violation of Article 146 (8) of the 1992 Constitution.
The Supreme Court unanimously held that the petition was null and void and Mr. Akwetey could not pursue.
Justice Dery and his lawyers will be citing this case in their attempt to have Anas’ petition declared incompetent.