Forbidden Favours: Judicial Service writes to Media Without Borders—‘We went to Accra without Tongraan’s bull’


The Judicial Service has written in response to a story published Sunday by Media Without Borders in relation to a bull offered as a gift to a Judicial Council delegation by the Paramount Chief of Talensi, Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang.

The paramount chief offered the gift when the 5-member delegation visited him at his palace on Monday, 26 June 2023.

The response letter, dated 3 July 2023, was signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela A. Addo.

“The Judicial Service has not taken any steps to accept the gracious offer of His Majesty, the Tong-Rana. We therefore, clarify that the delegation returned to Accra without any bull as alleged,” the letter reads in part.  

No reason was given in the letter for the delegation returning to Accra without the bull. After receiving the letter at 4:11 pm on Monday and reading it, Media Without Borders immediately asked the Judicial Service’s Deputy Director of Communications, Rosemary M. Gaisie, who delivered the response letter to Media Without Borders and was part of the delegation that visited the chief, two questions.

We asked if the delegation rejected the bull. And we asked the reason for the rejection if the bull was rejected. We added that we asked these questions because the public would like to know why the delegation returned to Accra without the bull. We are yet to receive any answers from the Judicial Service to these questions.

The Chief of Tindongo, Naab Tampelgsong Kun Gaadzom, an authority on the Talensi Traditional Council, had told Media Without Borders in a recorded interview that the Judicial Council delegation took the bull away.

And when Media Without Borders contacted Justice Gabriel Pwamang (the Supreme Court judge who led the delegation to the palace) on the propriety of the gift before our previous publication, he did not say the delegation returned to Accra without the bull. He said “the bull was offered publicly to the delegation and not to me personally”.

Two judges were part of the delegation that visited the paramount chief, the other being Justice Aboagye Tandoh, a High Court judge.

The other members were: Yaw Acheampong Boafo, National President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA); Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Rosemary Gaisie, Deputy Director of Communications, Judicial Service of Ghana.

Our previous publication highlighted the position of Ghana’s Code of Conduct for Judges and Magistrates on gifts.

The code frowns strongly on members of the bench accepting gifts from parties who have, or are likely to have, a case before them.

We quoted Rule 5 of the code which states that “Neither judges nor members of their families residing in their households shall accept a substantial GIFT, bequest, favour, or loan from anyone.”

And we cited Section 5 (c) of Rule 5, which says: “Judges or members of their families residing in their households may accept any other gifts, bequests, favour, or loan only if the donor is not a party or other person whose interests have come or are likely to come before the judge.”

Watch video of the Tongraan announcing his bull offer to the delegation.

Then, we revealed with exhibits in the previous publication that the paramount chief, who offered the bull gift to the Judicial Council delegation, was a plaintiff in a number of civil cases which were pending in law courts in and outside the Upper East Region as of the time he offered the gift on Monday, 26 June 2023.

One of the cases, which is pending at a court of appeal, is just one step away from the Supreme Court.

We shall publish whatever answers the Judicial Service gives to the two questions we asked after receiving its response letter yesterday.

Read below a full copy of the response letter from the Judicial Service:

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Withour Borders/


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