Corruption Watch has uncovered graft at the Ada Magistrate Court in the Greater Accra Region where some court officials are allegedly diverting and pocketing payments meant for the court.
Frederick Asiamah, a lead investigator at Corruption Watch, who has interacted with a number of victims says he found that the practice had gone on for years, especially at the court registrar’s office.
Giving the details of the investigative piece on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem Friday, Mr Asiamah said he was yet to get any feedback from the registrar, Nana Akwasi Konadu despite numerous text messages and phones calls to him.
Narrating her story on the Segment, Mamle, one of the people who has fallen victim to the ‘take-and-pocket’ scandal said a sum of GHC 7,500 she had paid was delayed for over nine months before part of it was released to the rightful owner.
Another person, Regina Sabbah, a 47-year-old trader and a resident of Bedeku in the Ada East District said since September 2018, she had been expecting to receive GHC6,500 from the Ada District Court, an amount paid to the court by one Ebenezer Sotti.
The Ada District Court had ordered Ebenezer Sotti to refund the GHC6,500 to Ms Sabbah while he was standing trial for reselling a piece of land he had earlier sold to her.
So, when in April 2019, court registrar Nana Kwasi Konadu told Ms Sabbah that he handled t GHC 3,300 received from Mr Sotti, Regina assumed the balance of GHC 3,200 was yet to be paid.
To Ms Sabbah’s surprise, Ebenezer Sotti told the court in September 2019 upon being re-arrested that he had made a full payment to the court registrar Nana Kwasi Konadu, last year.
Meanwhile, Mr Sotti has recounted to Corruption Watch that he was denied receipts after initial and final payments.
Meanwhile, lawyer Martin Kpebu, a Private Legal practitioner commenting on the issue, has urged the Judicial Service to investigate the issue to the latter.
“I know the Judicial Service will not be happy with this development and will begin to probe so the media must also conduct follow-ups on the issue,” he urged.
Rule 5 (G) of the Code of Ethics for Employees of the Judicial Service of Ghana states that “an employee of the Judicial Service shall obey all lawful instruction regarding the Judicial Service in the execution of his work.”
Therefore, disregarding lawful instructions laid down by the Service means working outside the rules and laws guiding the Service and amounts to unprofessional conduct and a breach of the code.
Fred Asiamah revealed there is a full documentary which will soon be aired as well as a petition to the Judicial Service to resolve such issues.