Judicial predators largely responsible for corruption perception in judiciary – Gertrude Torkornoo
Chief Justice nominee, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo has said expressed her commitment to any effort to to address the perception that there is corruption in Ghana’s judiciary system.
She said no matter how small the perception, it must not even be whispered of the judiciary that it has no integrity.
During her vetting by Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Friday, May 26, 2023, she clarified that those notions seem to abound due to some employees of the Judicial Service who pass themselves off as members of the judiciary to extort money from people.
“The judicial service has more than 7,000 employees. Only 100 or so are part of the judiciary. Anyone who presents themselves as able to take money on behalf of a judge gives that perception. And very often, we as judges, including those of us with a reputation of being unbribable, find ourselves in that corner where people go out and present (themselves) that they are going to give you money, and others believe it because they don’t know it.
“So they don’t know that you are unbribable. So there’s a whole market, we call it judicial predators. There’s a whole predatory group around our function, and that is something that we constantly try to address in our study of ethics, both for judges and for staff.”
Moreover, Justice Torkornoo gave the assurance that should she come into office, she would be zealous in educating the public about these exploiters so as to avoid falling victim to them.
Although she acknowledged that there were remedies available to address the problem of exploitation by judicial predators, she suggested that they still needed to be strengthened.
“That is something that we constantly try to address in our study of ethics, both for judges and for staff. So there are interventions, they just have to be deepened,” she told the committee.
The Chief Justice nominee subsequently advised Ghanaians to desist from giving money to people to take to judges, as there was no guarantee that the money would be actually sent to them.
“I would really love to tell Ghanaians that for every ten people who tell, you, ‘give me money for a judge,’ you can be sure that nine likely is going into that person’s pocket, and not to a judge. So please don’t give money to people to take to judges, because it’s their own market,” Mrs Torkornoo advised.
Source: Ghana News