A statement signed by the First Deputy Judicial Secretary, Ms Justice Juliana Amonoo-Neizer, said Justice Heward-Mills had been “found culpable” in the scandal after investigations.
It said President John Dramani Mahama, in a letter dated June 17, 2016, accepted the recommendations by the committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the petition from Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI for the removal of some High Court judges from office on the grounds of stated misbehaviour.
“The investigation committee was established by the Chief Justice in accordance with Article 146 (4) of the 1992 Constitution after she had determined that a prima facie case had been established against Justice Heward-Mills in a petition submitted to the President on August 31, 2015,” the statement said.
It said the petition was referred to the Chief Justice by the President to make a prima facie determination in accordance with Article 146(3) of the 1992 Constitution.
Code of conduct
The statement that was issued in Accra last Friday said after the committee’s investigations into the petition, it was found that Justice Heward-Mills, contrary to Rule 3 (7) and 4 (A) of the code of conduct for judges and magistrates, did not only engage in ex-parte communication on the suit, Nana Kofi Annan and or versus John Kwadwo Bobie, which was pending before her, but also advised the defendant in the suit on the best approach to defending the case against the plaintiff.
“While denying that she accepted any amount of money from the petitioner’s teammate in her chambers may be accepted, her explanation that what the petitioner’s teammate gave her in her car at the Aggrey Memorial School Junction was an invitation card to a social event was unacceptable,” it said.
The statement said rather it was money she accepted to influence her ruling in accordance with the agreement reached as a result of the discussion held with the petitioner’s teammate.
It said following her removal from office, Justice Heward-Mills was to hand over her bungalow and all official property in her possession, including her official government vehicle, dockets and record books, to the Judicial Secretary forthwith.
“The Director of Human Resource has also been requested to ensure that her name is deleted from the payroll of the Judicial Service, with effect from June 20, 2016,” it said.
Some 22 lower court judges and 12 High Court judges were captured on video in a two-year investigative piece by Anas Aremeyaw Anas allegedly taking bribes to influence justice.
So far, about 20 of the lower court judges have been removed from office, while three High Court judges, namely Justices Kofi Essel Mensah, Francis K. Opoku and John Ajet Nassam, have been sacked.