‘My comment on corrupt judges was personal’
National Secretary of the Association of State Attorneys, Charles Ofori, who has been stripped of his position for making comments deemed derogatory in connection with the recent judiciary corruption scandal, has defended his comments.
The association voted at an emergency meeting on Tuesday, where the majority concluded that his comments were derogatory and did not represent the views of the association.
Mr. Charles Ofori, according to a report by the Daily Graphic and other news portals, called for the prosecution of judges implicated in the corruption scandal because he found their actions a criminal offence.
“We are not angels but anytime we meet these temptations, we should be guarded by the values that we were taught in the law school,” he said in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM.
He further stated that the development had cast a serious dent on all legal practitioners and that steps ought to be taken towards image repair.
But the President of the State Attorneys Association, Francisca Titi Mensah, who confirmed Mr. Ofori’s dismissal to Citi News, said it is not the association’s responsibility to call for the prosecution of anyone since that was solely the prerogative of the Attorney-General.
She said Mr. Ofori’s explanation that he made those specific comments in his personal capacity and not as the National Secretary of the Association is unacceptable.
But Mr. Ofori insists his dismissal is unfair because the comments were his personal comments and he still stands by them.
“I was very clear and the audio is available for replay. In my view and for me as a person, if the findings of the judicial council go against those judges they should be prosecuted. That is my view and I am forever to defend it. If you listen to the interview, the interviewer knows me very well that I have been speaking on issues so the introduction was that can we hear from the National Secretary of State Attorneys Association.
“That was where perhaps I should have immediately issued a disclaimer; but if you listen to the entire interview I kept referring to myself and we are all students of grammar; it is not about the heading of the story but the context and the merit of what you are saying”.
Some 22 lower court judges have currently been suspended by the Judicial Council, after they were captured in a video, taking bribes in a two year investigative piece.
Twelve other high court judges have also been implicated and have been queried after which appropriate sanctions would be taken against them; together with over 100 judicial service staff also believed to have played various roles in the bribery scandal.