Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah has asked the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service to investigate bribery allegations levelled against him by Kwasi Afrifa, a private legal practitioner.
According to the CJ, he is saddened by the allegations that he demanded a bribe of US$5,000,000 to compromise his integrity as regards the judgement of the Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI v Ghana Telecommunications Co. Ltd, a case brought before the Supreme Court.
In a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police, and copied to the Director General of the CID, the CJ denied the “sordid and potentially criminal” allegation saying it was made “without any shred of evidence.”
The letter, signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo, maintained that the CJ “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,” the letter added.
According to the statement, it is on record that the plaintiff unsuccessfully petitioned for the recusal of the CJ and Justice Jones Dotse Mawulom 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 31st 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,” the letter added.
“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,” the letter said.
The Chief Justice and Akoto Ampaw, a private legal practitioner, 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.”
Kwasi Afrifa’s statement, addressed to the General Legal Council, dated July 8, 2021, is a response to a claim by Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI that he (Afrifa), while handling his case, suggested to him (Ogyeedom) to “provide an amount of US$100,000 to enable him to do some ways and means (gymnastics)” on the case “so that we can obtain a favorable decision.”
Ogyeedom in his petition to the GLC on March 1, 2021, said despite knowing he had a good case before the Supreme Court, he heeded the advice of his lawyer. However, he later realized that the money was not used for the intended purpose.
He has, however, denied giving any bribe to the Chief Justice, saying he had never met him personally before.