President Nana Akufo-Addo has dismissed the petition brought before him by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) demanding the removal of Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah from office because of bribery allegations levelled against the latter.
In a letter to ASEPA and sighted by Citi News, the president said there was no basis for the petition for the removal of the Chief Justice because of a $5 million dollar bribe he was alleged to have received.
“The petition is dismissed accordingly,” the president added in the letter.
President Akufo-Addo said the petition was based on “third hand and fourth hand hearsay”.
“The petition is devoid of any basis warranting the setting up of a committee under Article 146 (6) to undertake the very serious business of removing a Chief Justice from office.”
ASEPA also petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
But the commission declined to probe the matter because ASEPA had also petitioned the Presidency.
ASEPA in turn has suggested it could sue CHRAJ.
Responding to the President on Eyewitness News, the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson said “today is a very sad day in the history of the judiciary.”
“Once again, President Akufo-Addo has demonstrated that he has no respect for the laws of this country.”
He said he wasn’t clear on if the response was based on an assessment by the President of the Council of State after the President suggested he had some findings on the matter
Mr. Thompson described the response as a report and said “we don’t know whether it is the report of the members of the Council of State or the report of the president’s findings. We don’t know so that is the question that we are asking.”
“If it is the President’s own findings, the President is in total breach of the law because, under Article 146, the President has no power to conduct any form of investigation,” he said.
About the allegations
The allegations were contained in a response of a 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 VI, dragged Mr. Afrifa to the GLC alleging that the lawyer collected $100,000 from him with a promise to help get a favourable judgement on his behalf.
Ogyeedom Atta IV asked the GLC to order Mr. Afrifa to refund the $100,000, saying the lawyer failed to deliver on his promise
In a response dated July 8, Mr. Afrifa denied the claims by Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta VI, further alleging that he was asked to refund $300,000 in legal fees to enable his client to raise a $5million bribe to be paid to the Chief Justice to get a favourable decision in the legal dispute.
The Chief Justice denied the allegations and has also petitioned the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to investigate the matter.