The Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, has petitioned the director general of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, to investigate bribery allegations leveled against him.
A private legal practitioner, Akwasi Afrifa, in a letter he wrote in response to a complaint filed against him (the lawyer) by Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta, the chief of Efutu and Gomoa Adjumako traditional area made some startling allegations against Justice Yeboah.
The letter dated 12 July 2021 and signed by the Judicial secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo, notes that, “the attention of His Lordship the Chief Justice has been drawn to copies of letters from a Lawyer (Akwasi Afrifa, Esq) and his client, the plaintiff in the matter of OGYEEDOM OBRANU KWESI ATTA Iv v GHANA TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY & LANDS COMMISSION, to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council, and which letters are making rounds on social media. His Lordship is saddened that without any shred of evidence, his name has been dragged into this sordid and potentially criminal matter.”
The judicial secretary’s letter notes further that, “his Lordship confirms that he does not know the plaintiff and has not met or seen him anywhere, except in the court room when he rises to announce his name when his case is called. His Lordship asserts that he has had no personal interaction either with the plaintiff or his lawyer on this matter or in any other matter. His Lordship further asserts that he has not demanded or received any money from any person to influence any decision in this matter or any other matter.”
Stressing further on the extent to which the Chief Justice has had any dealing with the parties involved in the case around which the accusations against him are premised, the letter states that “the records show that the plaintiff unsuccessfully petitioned for the recusal of His Lordship the Chief Justice and His Lordship Justice Victor Jones Mawulom Dotse from the matter, on a claim that they were prejudiced against him. The records further show that the Chief Justice was the only Judge on a panel who recently on 31t March 2021 dissented in an application at the instance of the plaintiff Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV in favour of the respondent, Ghana Telecommunications Co. Ltd”.
To this end, the judicial secretary states in her letter that, “to ensure that this matter is fully investigated, His Lordship has directed that a formal complaint be made to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service for investigations and any necessary action. He has further directed that a Petition be lodged with the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council in respect of this specific matter.”
“His Lordship is available to assist with all investigations into this matter, while he considers his own civil legal options to ensure that this matter is dealt with to its logical conclusions,” the letter added.
In a related development, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI has discredited the allegations made against the chief justice by Afrifa. In a rejoinder, the chief of Efutu and Gomoa Adjumako traditional area stated that, “my attention has been drawn to a media publication allegation against my good self and some prominent third parties, including the Chief Justice.”
“I unequivocally deny all allegations of intended bribery or actual bribery of any judge including the Chief Justice, who I have never met or known personally apart from seeing him a distance from the bench,” he stated.
He added: “I re-emphasise that I have never met the Chief Justice before nor dealt with him directly or indirectly in official or private capacity, neither do l know where he lives nor have his phone number to have communicated with him”.
“I have since applied for a copy of the said response to my petition against Mr Afrifa in which those fabrications and allegations are said to be contained and will appropriately react to the General Legal Council upon receipt of same,” the rejoinder further stated.
Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI dragged his former lawyer to the General Legal Council, through a petition dated 1 March 2021, to have him sanctioned concerning his handling of a case involving the petitioner and Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited.
Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI in his petition disclosed that the Lawyer Kwasi Afrifa who was handling his case asked him to pay an amount of USD 100,000 which he was going to use for “legal gymnastics” after he paid him GHC 300,000 as his engagement fees.
Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI said he realized the Lawyer did not use the money for the said ‘legal gymnastics’ and therefore sacked him from handling the case and asked that the monies be paid back to him.
The lawyer is said to have paid USD 25,000 but has refused to pay the remaining USD 75,000, so after several attempts to retrieve his money, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI wrote to the General Legal Council to retrieve his money.