Showing of Anas’ film unconstitutional – Ayikoi Otoo Showing of Anas’ film unconstitutional – Ayikoi Otoo
A former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ayikoi Otoo, has described as prejudicial and unconstitutional the screening of the investigative piece by ace journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Titled Ghana in the Eyes of God: Epic of Injustice, the documentary was premiered on September 22 and 23 at the Accra International Conference Centre despite an injunction on the venue.
One of the accused high court judges, Paul Uuter Dery, had sued Tigereyepi, Graphic Communications Group, Starr FM and Media Foundation for West Africa to stop them from screening the film. Though he later withdrew the suit, Justice Dery filed an injunction against managers of the Centre from showing the film to the public.
According to the former lawmaker Ayikoi Otoo, it was against the constitution to go public with the evidence of the case since cases of high court judges are prescribed – as per the constitution – to be heard in-camera.
“Why this particular case they allowed it, I don’t understand,” he wondered while on TV3’s Hot Issues on Saturday, October 10.
Mr Ayikoi Otoo maintained that side-stepping an injunction to show that documentary film opens up the country’s judicial system for contempt by expatriates.
“Already we have had all kinds of difficulties with international arbitration because they come and they don’t trust your judicial system.”
He said it was the same injunction that forced Anas to cancel the showing of the film in Kumasi and, so, wondered how he appears to have been let scot free on the premiere in Accra.
Anas’ exposé has led to the suspension of seven high court judges and 22 circuit court judges and magistrates.
The vacuum created by the suspension of the high court justices is expected to be filled by justices of the Court of Appeal, the chief justice announced on Friday.
‘Go to court’
Cross-examination of Anas began last week but the process was halted after he sought permission to travel out of the country for a conference.
Counsel of the accused had requested Anas to remove his trademark hood during cross-examination.
This has become a subject of controversy especially within the Whistleblower Act.
But Mr Ayikoi Otoo said lawyers of the accused judges can seek clarification in court over this since most witnesses in courts are not allowed to mount the witness box in any wearable that can affect the process of seeking justice.