‘Anas’ Exposé Not Masterful; Video Screening Lawless’ – Franklin Cudjoe

President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, says inasmuch as the investigative piece by Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas on alleged corruption in the judiciary presents an opportunity for a cleansing of the service, the screening of the video publicly was lawless.

Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme ‘The Big Issue’, Mr. Cudjoe said considering the pending court suits filed by some of the indicted judges and the ongoing investigations into the matter, it would have been appropriate for those processes to be completed before the video was screened.

Thousands of Ghanaians thronged the Accra International Conference Centre to watch the video, although one of the accused Judges, Justice Paul Dery, had secured an interlocutory injunction to prevent mangers of the facility from showing the video.

The IMANI Ghana President wondered why the people who expect the judiciary to enforce the laws to the letter, are themselves gleefully and blatantly flouting it. “If we all decide that the day I will be caught doing something really sinful and then it would be screened for the entire world to see I am not sure I will be very happy about it. I am not too sure that I agree with the whole idea of public viewing of this without necessarily following the law. I believe strongly that the processes should have been cleared before it was shown. I think that clearly speaking it was one piece of lawless act; that’s my layman’s view. It is important that we follow the rule of law even if these people are indeed guilty.”

Mr. Franklin Cudjoe somewhat agreed with suggestions that Anas’ investigative method used in exposing the judges may be inappropriate. “Much as I turn to agree that it doesn’t become a truly masterful investigative piece when you really want to find out an evil which is being perpetrated; it would have been nicer if you actually caught the people in the act and not the one instigated by you because that becomes a bit like subterfuge.

But having said that, I would have thought that this exercise is essentially showing us that we are all frail when it comes to the pleasures of life; but for the fact that these people are the last resort in every conflict and they can actually determine whether you live or die, it is a bit unpardonable”.

However Anti-corruption crusader, Sydney Casley Hayford, a co-panelist on the show, disagreed with Mr. Franklin Cudjoe. In his view, Anas did not err in exposing the corruption within the Judicial Service albeit secretly; and did nothing wrong screening the video publicly. Casley Hayford believes Anas’ intentions were borne out of his desire to prove that the judicial system is corrupt, adding that “he did what every investigative journalist will do.”