Petitioner for the removal of the Chief Justice (CJ) Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has expressed much disappointment in the efforts of the President Akufo-Addo, towards the USD$ 5million allegation hanging around the neck of the Chief Justice.
Speaking on Point Blank on Orange FM, Executive Director of ASEPA, Mr. Mensah Thompson, noted that it is up to the general public to decide whether the petition it made for the CJ’s removal is truly unmerited and baseless as the President noted and dismissed the call.
He noted that Lawyer Kwesi Afrifa, the one who made the allegations against the CJ, was not invited by the Council of State during the probe and wondered how the Council of State came to a conclusion. He alleged the Council of State rather dubbed Supreme Court verdict and presented it as a report.
“I made an earlier statement about how the image of the judiciary is further dwindling. A member of the Ghanaian bar made a categorical allegation against the Chief Justice on bribery and corruption. We submitted a petition to the President and the President referred the matter to the Council of State.
“The Council of State, as we speak have not even heard or written to the get the response of the person who made the allegation to provide even evidence to it for them to make a determination for case. On what basis did the Council of State come to this conclusion that it has no merit? I did not make this allegation. We have provided to them documents and the name and details of the person who made that allegation against the Chief Justice. What they had to do was to invite this person and seek for proof. None of the sort was done. The Council of State took the Supreme Court judgment and dumped the case and turned the Supreme Court judgment into a report. This is extremely embarrassing”, he said.
“We wanted a proper constitutional process to go on but it hasn’t happened” and assured that it will not give up at all cost”, he added.
According to him, the Council of State is not an investigative body and that was why they petitioned CHRAJ, however, with the response from CHRAJ, it will make a legal suit against the body.
“We understood the limitations of the Council of State, we know that the Council of State is not an investigative body and does not have technical investigative capacity to investigate issues of bribery such as this one and that is why we had gone to CHRAJ. Now CHRAJ says it is not going to investigate it because the Council of State is investigating the same matter. We are willing to challenge CHRAJ in the law court but before we do that we are going to write to CHRAJ and draw the attention to the recent judgment in this matter and hope if it will reconsider its decision to investigate or we take legal action against it.”
The name of Justice Anin Yeboah popped up in a scuffle between a plaintiff, Ogyedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI and his lawyer, Lawyer Kwesi Afrifa.
The plaintiff petitioned the General Legal Council in March 2021 accusing his lawyer of owing him an amount of seventy five thousand dollars after taking one million dollars from him to conduct “gymnatics” for him to win his pending trial in court which he subsequently did not.
According to the plaintiff, they (Lawyer Afrifa and himself) agreed on 300,000 cedis for his services which he paid.
He also noted that after giving the lawyer the said money for the “gymnatics”, he realised from his demeanour that he did not use the money for the intended purpose and therefore fired him and demanded a refund for which he has paid twenty five thousand dollars but has failed to refund the rest.
Lawyer Kwesi Afrifa in a response to the General Legal Council on the same matter denied taking an amount of one million dollars from the plaintiff to conduct “gymnastic”.
He admitted to owing the plaintiff but said a fee of one million cedis was rather agreed for his services after which the petitioner paid three hundred thousand cedis and promised to settle the rest later.
He explained that the petitioner informed him that some friends of his who have political affiliation took him to see the Chief Justice who agreed to help him win the case on the basis that he pays a five million dollar bribe and also institute Lawyer Akoto Ampaw in his (lawyer Affrifa) stead.
According to Lawyer Afrifa, the petitioner called on him to refund the initial payment of 300, 000 cedis in dollars which was equivalent to 50,000 dollars so he could pay the Chief Justice after the plaintiff had paid 50,000 dollars to him.
He claimed he had paid 40,000 dollars with a remainder of 10,000 dollars which he looks forward to settle on 15th July, 2021.
After a media publication of both petitions to the General Legal Council, Ogyedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI published a press statement saying, “I unequivocally deny allegations of intended bribery or actual bribery of any judge including the Chief Justice whom I have never met or known personally apart from seeing him a distance from the bench.
“I reemphasize that I have never met the Chief Justice before nor dealt with him directly or indirectly in official or private capacity neither do I even know where he lives nor have his phone number to have communicated with him”, he said.
The Chief Justice however in his letter to the IGP on 12th July, 2021 said he does not know and has not seen or met with the plaintiff except in the court room when he rises to announce his name when his case is called.
The Chief Justice therefore “directed a formal complaint be made to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service for investigations and any necessary action.”
The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) petitioned Commission on Human Right Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the bribery scandal involving the Chief Justice and later wrote to the president seeking the removal of the CJ for investigations to be conducted.
CHRAJ had thrown out the petition of ASEPA with reason that the Council of State was working on it.
The President through his Executive Secretary, Nana Bediatuo, wrote to the ASEPA describing the USD$5million allegation as unmeritorious and baseless and therefore dismissing the petition.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini