13th July, 2021
STATEMENT BY THE CENTER FOR ETHICAL GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF BRIBERY AGAINST THE CHIEF JUSTICE, HIS LORDSHIP JUSTICE KWASI ANIN YEBOAH
The CEGA has noted with utter shock and regret a trending story about a bribery allegation at the very apex of the judiciary of our beloved nation, Ghana. The allegation is against none other than the chief justice of the republic, His Lordship Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah and it is contained in the response of a private legal practitioner, Kwasi Afrifa, Esq. to a petition against him, (Mr. Afrifa) by one Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV to the General Legal Council (GLC).
We had the privilege to read carefully the petition of Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV to the General Legal Council. We cannot help but be outraged by the contents of the correspondences, particularly, the response of Lawyer Afrifa, given that these correspondences were addressed to the General Legal Council and they border on alleged misconduct of the personalities involved and may warrant disciplinary measures.
We of the CEGA consider these correspondences to be reasonably authentic since same are official and involve respected personalities like a traditional leader and a renowned lawyer, and no other person than the 14th Chief Justice of the Republic and a FIFA Disciplinary Committee Chairman. We think nothing must trigger the attention of Ghanaians at this point in time than the allegations contained in the correspondences.
Though the petition of Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV has raised issues about himself and lawyer Afrifa as having allegedly attempted to bribe judges in a matter pending in the court, in order to have a favorable outcome to the petitioner, these allegations are essentially against the petitioner himself and a private citizen. On the other hand, the allegation contained in lawyer Afrifa’s response, indicating that the Chief Justice had requested for a bribe of US$5 million in order for him to interfere with the adjudication process and manipulate same in favor of the petitioner must concern every citizen of the country and be taken very seriously. This is so because the allegation is against a public official of the highest order, the man at the top echelon of our judiciary and also Chairperson of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, the first Ghanaian to be elected and is expected to be of very high moral stature.
In a new twist, the chief at the center of the alleged bribery allegation, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta IV has denied ever meeting the Chief Justice who has also in a statement denied meeting the plaintiff and had not demanded or received any money from any person.
It is in the light of the above twists and turns that we of CEGA wish to call for a thorough investigation of the allegations in order to restore the dwindling confidence of Ghanaians in the legal sector and the judiciary for that matter. We have observed with disappointment for a very long time that the moral society and other institutions that were very vocal and proactive in the past during the era of the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have suddenly become dormant and sometimes completely extinct with deafening silence since the government of Nana Akufo Addo assumed the reigns of our beloved nation.
One of such institutions worth mentioning is the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), which has remained silent and adamant and continues to disappoint many discerning Ghanaians in the face of numerous oppressive activities instigated by those in power through our security agencies, and the abuse of the rights and freedoms of citizens by the Akufo Addo government and the courts. In fact even when vagabonds described as vigilante groups of the ruling party had stormed a court in Kumasi to free their colleagues standing trial, and had the effrontery to threaten judges and court officials, the GBA could not find its voice to speak.
Is this not hypocrisy to the highest degree?
In this particular instance when a bribery allegation has been made by a senior member of the association against the chief Justice, it is the expectation of very well meaning Ghanaians that the GBA shall rise to the occasion to instill some hope in their membership and the general public by speaking out loudly against it and support our call for a full probe into this shameful allegation.
We hereby call for a bi-partisan parliamentary probe of the allegations against the Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah.
In the interest of justice and fair play, we kindly request the Chief Justice who is also the Chairperson of the General Legal Council to step aside, at the very least, to allow thorough investigations into the allegations. It is in his interest to allow investigations than to sweep the allegations under the carpet as has been the case for some time now. Nothing short of this shall satisfy the good people of Ghana to rebuild their confidence in the sunken image of the judiciary and the law profession in general.
We accordingly call on all concerned, and those in authority as well as the general public to support our call for investigations into this serious matter by applying the necessary pressure on the authorities to heed to this reasonable and justifiable call. This will go a long way to portray us to the international community as a serious nation.
Long live the People’s Power,
Long live our motto, Freedom and Justice,
Long live the Ghana Justice System
Prof. Ohene Adjei
Executive Director- 0544445566
Dr. Justice M.K Aheto
Executive Secretary- 0242527292
Communications Director- 0242161111