[JURIST] The Judicial Council of Ghana [official website] on Wednesday announced the suspension of 22 judges and magistrates on suspicion of corruption. The charges are based on video footage collected in a nationwide investigation conducted by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the leading journalist on uncovering corruption in the judiciary. The footage showed more than 180 judges and judicial staff [Graphic report] accepting bribes to reveal confidential information and deliver false rulings. The judiciary has been criticized for years by domestic organizations including the Ghana Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Economic Affairs [advocacy websites] for engaging in corrupt practices. The judicial council has already suspended 11 high court judges [list, GhanaWeb], and an expected 12 more will receive suspensions in the coming days.
Ghana has been the source of internal corrupt practices issues in the past. In November of last year, UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez expressed concern [JURIST report] over the conditions in Ghana prisons and concluded that the state of prisons in the country amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In August of last year, the Supreme Court of Ghana upheld [JURIST report] the disputed election of President John Mahama. The election results were challenged on allegations of fraud by the opposing party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, who finished second in the election with 47.74 percent of the electoral vote.