The latest report released by the United States Department of State has alleged that some judges were subjected to “unlawful influence and corruption” while adjudicating cases.
According to the 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, “Judicial officials reportedly accepted bribes to expedite or postpone cases, “lose” records, or issue favourable rulings for the payer of the bribe.”
The report noted that although the 1992 Constitution requires every judge to be impartial when hearing a case, some judges allowed themselves to be compromised.
The report said, “a judicial complaints unit within the Ministry of Justice headed by a retired Supreme Court justice addressed complaints from the public, such as unfair treatment by a court or judge, unlawful arrest or detention, missing trial dockets, delayed trials, and rendering of judgments, and bribery of judges.”
The government, however, “generally respected court orders,” the US State Department added.
Meanwhile, the report “officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.”
It also noted that although laws stipulate punishments for corrupt officials, the government hardly implements them effectively.
“Corruption was present in all branches of government, according to media and NGOs, including recruitment into the security services,” parts of the report read.
“The honorary consul general and the Ghanaian consulate in Washington D.C. could not account for visa fees totalling $355,000. The Free Senior High School Secretariat misspent more than $3.16 million.
“A former Minister of Tourism retained three official vehicles for personal use after leaving office. The report concluded that corrupt practices resulted in $340 million of financial mismanagement, including misapplication and misappropriation of funds, theft, and procurement mismanagement.”