Ghana’s Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Woo has suspended seven of 12 High Court judges implicated in allegations of bribery stemming from a documentary made by an investigative journalist. Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas says he has nearly 500 hours of video evidence on tape, showing judges alleging asking for bribes and demanding sex. His documentary, shown to packed audiences in cinemas around the country and gone viral on social media, has electified the nation. In these secret recordings senior judges, as well as magistrates, court officials and police officers are shown to manipulare the course of justice in return for financial favours.
While several of the parties implicated reacted aggressively, taking out injunctions against the screening of the films and threatening to arrest the journalist, the action by the Chief Justice has been widely welcomed. It shows that even the judiciary cannot act with impunity and that there is a degree of accountability. For Ghana as well as for other countries in the region this is an opportunity to move forward in the fight against corruption. The inquiry into the guilt of the accused will be closely watched across West Africa.