My main concern heading to the AICC yesterday was the horrific line i’d seen pictures of on premier day. No that’s a lie… my MAIN concern was a disgruntled individual throwing a molotov cocktail into the theatre lol.
I needn’t have worried about either. There was an ‘express’ line dedicated to ladies and the security was robust. No chances were being taken at all. Within 20 minutes i was comfortably seated and ready for the action.
The pre-show was a replay of Anas’ TED talk from 2013. In it he gave a summary of his work ( CEPS, Cocoa Smuggling, conditions in Prisons etc) and reinforced his mandate- to Name, Shame and Jail those who would circumvent the law.
Joy Fm’s Kojo Yankson, MC for the evening, came on stage to officially welcome attendees, prompted us to rise for the National Anthem ( i heard someone behind me say ebey! video baako a yeb3 hw3 nsu hahaha), and finally invited the Chairman of the National Peace Council up. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante gave a stock speech; how we must unite to rid ourselves of the canker of corruption in our society, but remember that there are still good and honest individuals in the system etc.
And then finally…. finally… the documentary started rolling.
The ten minute intro was voiced-over scenes of the Tiger Eye team brainstorming, intercut with soundbytes from Rawlings, Mills, and Kuffuor. The whole thing was scored to one of Hans Zimmer’s movie soundtracks, and at one point they were all standing around a life sized tiger cub stuffed toy lol. I told you that Anas is dramatic!
Now..the bits i know you are all here for.. the cases themselves.
The ALLEGED bribe takers. Yeah..i’m not trying to get sued here.. so i’m prefacing everything that follows with ‘ALLEGEDLY’, but anytime you see that… picture my face below..
Each of the cases followed the same M.O. The undercover P.I. approaches a court clerk and/or fixer, who then arranges a meeting with the Judge. Money is agreed upon, and part payment is rendered, with the remaining monies paid after the case is sorted.
Ernest Obimpeh– approached to sway his decision on a land dispute. 5000 + a goat, and another goat (from BURKINA FASO..this is important apparently) after the case was resolved. His fixer, Gabriel, received 2000.
Justice “I’ll Sue You” Peter Dery- 15,000 in a narco case. Beaten down to 11,000, of which he may have only received 5,000 because his own fixer ‘The Mayor’ may have stolen the rest. After the case they brought him a ram and some tubers of yam.. he said he preferred a goat, so they went and got him a goat instead. These items were delivered to his home.
Yaw Ansu-Gyabuor– 2000 to arrange release of a defendant in a rape case involving a sixteen year old girl. Sigh.
2000 given to his driver.. and another “thank you handshake” of cash and yams
Ahmed Mustapha– 1500 to release a defendant for poss of weed
Sam Essel-Walker– 1,500 in a custody case. Then later on another possession of narco case.
Emmanuel Kofi Sunu– 150 +guinea fowls to ‘see what he can do’ in a case of theft from a company. ( i meeean.. are you seeing this???)
Mustapha Logoh– 2500 to grant bail to a man who stabbed a girl to death.
Judge Essel Mensah– 1000 to reduce sentence ( from life to 5 years..but he was eventually discharged for a 5000 total) of a man who murdered another in a land dispute)
Justice Charles Quist– 5000 to influence the case of armed robbers who attacked the Unity filling station
Ivy Heward Mills– 800 pre +500 post in a case for a 70 yr old man whose land was being encroached upon by land developers
And on and on and on and on. Armed robbers, rapists, murderers- all bailed/discharged/acquitted in exchange for yams, goats (so many goats), fowls and a pittance of cash. This is where i started to feel nauseous and overwhelmed. The last thing i heard before i left.. (no i didnt even last till the end, but i think there were only 30 minutes left), was a case where the judge took 800 to let off a guy who had defiled a 13 year old girl. He instructed them to “go see the girl’s family”. I suppose in his mind, he was being fair. Sigh…
Before i walked out, i decided to interview the man sitting next to me, who had hogged the arm rest and invaded my personal space all evening long smh. I asked him how he’d received his ticket, whether the documentary was as he expected, and what he planned to do, now that he’d seen it.
He told me he’d received his ticket because he was close friends with some one at Tiger Eye. (He also told me they’ve done an undercover report on PARLIAMENT which is currently being edited…lawd!! You heard it here first..lol) He said nothing he’d seen that evening surprised him in the least. As to what happened next- nothing. To him, it would be cost prohibitive and time consuming to review every case the ALLEGEDLY corrupt judges had taken, so all one could do was be more aware. He himself had a land case that had been appealed and rejected 3 times- land he’d sold his car to buy from a Chief was being claimed by someone else. But he planned to pursue it to the bitter end.
Anas must rear goats as a hobby.
Judges think envelopes are magical- cash in hand:bad. Cash in envelope:fantatic. Mtchew
No… seriously though… to watch 40 grown, ‘esteemed’ professionals accept a few hundred dollars to sell away their dignity, integrity and the rights of their fellow human being is heartbreaking. I didn’t see anyone wrestling with a crisis of conscience..it was business as usual. In the court of public opinion, each one of them is guilty as sin. Without a doubt. What will happen in the actual court room regarding these individuals remains to be seen, but i’m tempering my expectations.
Oh Ghana! 😦
ps.. pardon any suspicious grammar.. i typed this up in a haste- ive got goat of my own waiting.. Eid Mubarak!! 🙂
If you have specific questions, ill try to answer them as memory serves.