Saturday, 26 September 2015

It Is Intolerable To Have Corrupt Judges Adjudicating Over Court Cases In Any Society

The attempt to denigrate the important work that Anas Amereyaw Anas does in exposing  corruption in Ghana, by accusing him of  being an agent provocateur who uses entrapment to lure the unwary, is most unfortunate.

That unfair accusation is particularly invidious when made in the context of  the publication of the results of  his most recent investigation, which exposed alledged corruption in the judiciary.

The question that his critics  need to ponder over is: Can it not be argued that an honest person, by definition, cannot be lured into wrong-doing by an agent provocateur, through entrapment?

Yes, no one is a saint, but one is either honest or one isn't. One has to know the difference between what is right, and what is wrong, as one navigates this world.

Anas undertook that dangerous work at great risk to his person for the greater good of society - and the ends he sought, justify how he went about gathering hard evidence, to establish the fact that corruption does indeed exist in the judiciary. How else could that fact have ever been established?

Surely, no one seriously expects corrupt individuals in the judiciary, to volunteer the fact that they can be bought, to the Anas Amereyaws of this world? For the common weal, Anas had to do what he did, in order to establish the fact that far from being just perception, corruption in the judiciary is an actual matter-of-fact phenomenon.

Corrupt judges and dishonest court officials undermine public confidence in the entire  justice delivery system - and have to be rooted out from the system for precisely that reason. The perception of corruption in the judiciary also leads many to doubt its  independence - and that cannot be good for any democratic society.

We must never forget that judicial independence is the bedrock of constitutional democracy. The rule of law cannot exist without it - and it requires honest and principled judges to adjudicate over cases in the law courts and ultimately ensure the enforcement of laws in the Statutes book.

As arbiters of disputes in society, that presumption of honesty is essential in evincing confidence in the justice delivery system, in those who file cases in the law courts to seek reliefs when their rights are infringed upon, by fellow citizens, corporate entities and the State.

It also ensures ready compliance of orders made by the law courts.

It is that role of independent and impartial arbiter that makes a corrupt judge such a menace to society - for he or she undermines confidence in the justice delivery system: and invites decent society's opprobium and contempt for the Judicial Service.

No corrupt judge or court official should ever escape punishment after due process, when exposed, for that reason.

That is why entrapment as a defence for judges accused  of accepting bribes holds no water - for it has to be presumed that under no circumstances can an honest judge be entrapped by agent provocateurs: as by definition an honest judge is incorruptible.

When judges abuse the powers vested in them to ensure justice, to favour parties in court cases before them, they become perpetrators of the worst form of injustice. Such egregious corruption is abominable, unspeakable and unpardonable.

More so when after their exposure such judges then seek to manipulate the law to prevent society's just retribution against their egregious criminality.

 If after due process the allegations against any of the judges or court officials Anas exposed, are proven, they must be jailed - to serve as a warning to others in the justice delivery system who might also be tempted to accept bribes to pervert the course of justice.

Let no one forget that like all judges, corrupt judges have the power of life and death over some of  the accused persons appearing before them - and can either sentence them to death, or to imprisonment for life. Literally.

Have many innocent people not suffered unjustly as a result of their perfidy? Justice cannot be traded like a commodity. Instead of pillorying him, let us celebrate the heroism of Anas. He is helping us end impunity in Ghana.

If Ghana's many conscience-selling journalists - who close their eyes to society's ills for filthy lucre -  would put aside mean-spirited partisanship, and worked hard instead to expose corruption in Ghana, like Anas does, would it not stop the steady erosion of society's moral fabric - and enable our nation to move forward at a more rapid pace?

We cannot have corrupt judges adjudicating over cases in our nation's law courts. That is simply intolerable.

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