A renowned private legal practitioner, Akoto Ampaw, has served notice to political groups, commentators and media practitioners that he will not allow his name and reputation to be soiled.
“I would not have anyone drag my good name and reputation down the slimy mud of corruption in order to curry political favour or boost audiences,” he warned.
This was contained in a statement denying claims that he had colluded with the Chief Justice to win a case for a client.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah and Mr Akoto Ampaw have been named in a statement by Kwasi Afrifa, of O&A Legal Consult, that his client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV, once told him that “the Chief Justice had demanded a bribe of US$5,000,000 for a successful outcome of his case.”
But Mr Akoto Ampaw has denied ever meeting the Chief Justice over the said case. “For the record, I wish to state, without any equivocation, that the only dealings I have had with the Chief Justice in this matter have been in open court as the lawyer for Ogyeedom. Beyond that I have had no dealings whatsoever with the Chief Justice in this matter.”
“Furthermore, even though, of course, I have known the Chief Justice since his law student days in the 1970’s, once he became a judge, I have kept my respectful and studious distance from him, as I have from other justices of the Supreme Court, past and present, even if they may have been my friends in school,” he stated.
Giving chronology of how he came to take over the case, Mr Ampaw said: “Some time at the end of July, 2020, Ogyeedom came to see me at our offices at Kojo Thompson Road, Adabraka, Accra, with a request that he wanted me to take over the prosecution of his case in the Supreme Court.”
“I indicated that it would be foolhardy on my part to take over a case before the Supreme Court that was to be heard in some two to three days’ time. I therefore urged him to still rely on his current legal team in the pending application and, if thereafter, he still wanted my professional services, I would be ready to hear him out.
“Sometime later, during the legal vacation, last year, Ogyeedom came back to consult with me, and, with much reluctance, I agreed to take up the brief, upon the very clear understanding that if he wanted me to take up the case because he thought I was politically connected or had friends within the judiciary, then he was at the wrong place, as I did not carry on my work as a lawyer by such dishonourable means,” Mr Ampaw noted.
He continued: “Indeed, I have had to make similar caveat to many potential clients when they seek my professional services, as, alas, these days, virtually everything seems to be for sale in our country and ethical standards have gone to the dogs. Fortunately, my junior, Nicholas Lenin Anane Agyei, was present in my office when I laid out this standard for my professional relationship with Ogyeedom, and he can testify to same.”
He added: “Eventually I agreed to take up the brief and filed notice of change of lawyer in the Supreme Court sometime in October. I have since been in the Supreme Court on a few occasions in respect of the matter to move an application to adduce new evidence in response to the Court’s grant of an earlier application by the appellant to adduce new evidence. On 31st March, 2021, the Supreme Court granted our application by a four to one ruling. Incidentally, the Chief Justice, who, according to lawyer Afrifa’s yarn, wanted me to be engaged as lawyer in the matter to facilitate an outcome favourable to my client, was the dissenting judge out of a panel of five. The records are there for anyone to access, including the media.”
Meanwhile, the CJ has referred the matter to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service.