The General Legal Council(GLC) has charged Lawyer Kwesi Afrifa with 9 counts of misconduct after preliminary investigation into petition filed by his former Client, Ogyedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI.
According to the General Legal Council, he violated rules 9(11), 6(1), 2(2), 9(7) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules 1969(L.L. 613) and rules 52(a), 89(c), 61(b) (ii) and 21(3) (b) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 2020(L.1.2423).
Among the misconducts, he is said to have failed to protect the sanctity of the legal profession by disclosing the alleged bribery scandal;
He also failed to issue receipt for payment of legal fee to his former client;
Failing to defend the integrity of the legal profession during a conversation in which manipulation of the judiciary emerged and facilitating the commission of alleged bribery by refunding the legal fee;
Presenting his conversation with his former client to a third party; acting in dishonesty;
Making reckless statement suggesting that the Chief Justice had engaged in judicial manipulation.
A Plaintiff, Ogyedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI petitioned the General Legal Council in March 2021 accusing his former Counsel, Lawyer Kwesi Afrifa of owing him an amount of US$75,000 after taking US$100,000 from him to conduct “gymnatics” for him to win his pending trial in court which he subsequently didn’t.
According to the plaintiff, they (Lawyer Afrifa and himself) agreed on ¢300000 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 US$100,000 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 ¢300,000 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 US$5 million 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 in dollars which was equivalent to US$50,000 so he could pay the Chief Justice after the plaintiff had paid US$50,000 to the him.
He claimed he had paid US$40,000 with a remainder of US$10,000 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 has therefore “directed a formal complaint be made to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service for investigations and any necessary action.”
Meanwhile the president has commenced processes to remove the Chief Justice after Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability, a civil society group wrote to the president to invoke article 146(6) of the 1992 constitution over the bribery allegation.
Below are copies from the GLC: