A Supreme Court judge Jones Dotse has appealed to the public, especially litigants to stay away from seeing court staff and judges to discuss their cases, with the intention to influence judgments in their favour.
According to him, such conducts are prohibited and admonished court staff to resist any of such temptations in order to maintain the sanctity of the judicial system.
Speaking at the inauguration of a new High Court at Sogakope in the South Tongu District of the Volta region on Monday, Justice Dotse said: “The unfortunate impression has been created in the minds of everybody in Ghana that you can only have justice when you go to the judge or the court staff to even just tell him your story before he hears it in open court.”
The Supreme Court judge, who is commenting at the back of the recent judicial corruption exposé by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team, further stated: “Some people don't see the judge primarily to give money or the registrar to do this or that. But they feel that, if they are able to see the registrar or court clerk or the judge to tell him their story before they come to court, then they have an advantage.”
“Imagine both of you, the plaintiff and defendant or the complainant and the accused person, all accessing that person, whose case should he believed?” he quizzed, stating emphatically that, “I will urge the public to stay away from the court staff. Please stay away from the court staff and the judge. You do not make an attempt to even know where the judge stays.”
Justice Dotse again reminded and advised litigants “a judge is supposed to be an impartial arbiter. Let him hear the case for the first time in court, let him know that, this is the merits of the case. In any case, we have several levels of courts, if you are not satisfied with the adjudication in the lower court, you can go upstairs on appeal.
“So please stay away from the court staff. You all know the wind that is blowing and I urge the court staff to resist any such temptations.”
The South Tongu district assembly provided the court building as well as a three-bedroom accommodation for the resident judge.