The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has called for an independent enquiry into a bribery allegation levelled against a Supreme Court judge over the election of Professor Mike Oquaye as Speaker of Parliament.
The Alliance in a statement said, “the Judicial Council and the Supreme Court alone investigating the matter could result in a cover-up.”
This comes after Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah indicated that he will be reaching out to the NDC Caucus Chief Whip to assist with investigations on some allegations he made against a Supreme Court Judge.
However, in the statement signed by Executive Director of the group, Mensah Thompson, ASEPA said, “the gravity of the allegations and a number of happenings in the Judiciary currently requires nothing but an independent enquiry.
“Unfortunately the Supreme Court cannot be allowed to investigate its own member especially in a matter that borders on the integrity of the Court itself,” ASEPA added.
During an interview on JoyNews’ The Probe Sunday, the NDC Caucus Chief Whip who is also the MP for Asawase alleged that a Supreme Court judge tried to influence the outcome of the Speakership elections for the 8th Parliament.
The Asawase MP stated that a very prominent judge contacted an NDC MP; offering an inducement should the person vote in favour of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Speaker nominee, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye.
According to him, although the judge’s motive was not achieved, the party will probe the issue and take the appropriate steps if necessary.
Mr Muntaka has also assured to assist the apex court with evidence though he is yet to provide any to back his claims.
Subsequently, the Chief Justice in response has assured the general public of an enquiry into the allegation.
ASEPA agrees that investigations need to be conducted into the matter, however, the group has called for the investigations to be conducted within a period of 30 days by a committee with representation from Parliament.
“What we expect is for the Judicial Council to constitute a committee with representation from Parliament, the Judicial Council and Civil Society to probe these allegations.
ASEPA also wants the said committee ably constituted to investigate the circumstances that led to the deliberate appearance of a Cape-Coast High Court Judge sitting on the Assin North MP’s case to appear in Court way late than he was expected.
In addition, ASEPA is demanding answers to why immediately after his judgement all Court services were closed, both bailiff and registrar left the Court premises even though official Court hours was not over making it impossible for any Party who had problems with the Courts decision to file for a “stay of execution”, a right enshrined to them under our laws.
“We expect the report of these two investigations to be published immediately(not later than 30 days) to restore the trust the Citizens are continuously loosing in the Judiciary,” ASEPA added.