CJ denies $5m bribery allegation, calls for police inquiry

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

The Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has denied allegations that he demanded a US$5 million bribe to influence a court case.

He has consequently petitioned the Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP), Mr Isaac Ken Yeboah, to launch criminal investigations into the matter.

A copy of the petition dated Monday, July 12, 2021, signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo, said there was no iota of truth in the said allegations.

“His Lordship the Chief Justice is saddened that without any shred of evidence, his name has been dragged into this sordid and potentially criminal matter.

"His Lordship further asserts that he has not demanded or received any money from any person to influence any decision”, the petition said.

Related article: Lawyer Afrifa suspended for professional misconduct 

Allegations

The said allegations were contained in a response of Lawyer Akwasi Afrifa against a petition filed against him by his client at the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council (GLC).

The client - Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV, dragged Lawyer Afrifa to the GLC alleging that Lawyer Afrifa collected US$100,000, with a promise to help get a favourable judgement on his behalf.

Ogyeedom Atta IV is asking the GLC to order Lawyer Afrifa to refund the US$100,000 because according to him, Lawyer Afrifa failed to use the money for its intended purpose.

In a response dated July 8, Lawyer Afrifa denied the claims by Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta IV.

According to him, the petitioner (Ogyeedom) told him (Lawyer Afrifa) to refund a GH¢300,000 legal fees paid to him to allegedly enable him (Ogyeedom) raise a US$5 million bribe to be paid to the Chief Justice to get a favourable decision in a pending legal dispute.

Chief Justice response

However, the Chief Justice has categorically denied the allegations contained in the response of Lawyer Afrifa.

According to the Chief Justice, he had had no personal interactions with Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta IV.

“His Lordship the Chief Justice confirms that he does not know the plaintiff and has not met or seen him anywhere, except in the courtroom where he rises to announce his name when his case is called.

"Indeed, the records show that the plaintiff unsuccessfully petitioned for the recusal of His Lordship the Chief Justice and His Lordship Justice Victor Jones Mawulorm Dotse from the matter.

"Also the Chief Justice said the records of the case would show that he (Chief Justice) was the only judge who dissented in an application by Ogyeedom Atta IV with regard the the case before the apex court.

“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 to its logical conclusions,” the petition to the CID added.

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Attached below is a copy of the petition by Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta IV and the response by Lawyer Akwasi Afrifa, rejoinder by Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta IV and the reaction by the Chief Justice.

Petition by Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta IV

Response by Lawyer Kwasi Afrifa

Rejoinder by Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta IV

Letter from the Chief Justice to the Police