Benin: Benin's justice minister denounces 'corrupt' judiciary
Benin's justice minister denounces 'corrupt' judiciary
Benin's justice minister denounced the country's judiciary as one of the most corrupt sectors in the country, in a speech Saturday.
"Benin judges and magistrates are corrupt and as the minister of justice, I am ashamed of the judiciary," Marie Elise Gbedo said.
The judiciary were second only to the customs service when it came to extortion, she added.
"Judges are thieves, they take money and do not even work," the minister said, speaking in the local Fongbe dialect.
Judicial corruption had been endemic long before President Thomas Yayi Boni came to office in 2006, she added.
"It's not under Yayi that judges have become corrupt -- they were before," she said.
But one judge, speaking on condition of anonymity, responded: "If the judiciary is sick, the justice minister should take responsibility and resign."
Boni, a former banker came into office pledging to crack down on corruption.
But his government was implicated in an alleged Ponzi scheme that shook the country and left scores of people in financial ruin last year.
The scandal prompted calls for the president to be tried on accusations he helped the firm that was behind the scheme. Boni sacked his interior minister over the scandal, but denied any wrongdoing himself.
Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to Benin last month denounced corruption, warning it could lead to violent upheaval and called on African leaders not to rob citizens of hope.
Gbedo made her speech a day after International Anti-Corruption day.
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