The whistleblowing lawyer Akwasi Afrifah is standing his ground in the claims made that Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah had demanded a US$ 5 million bribe from a litigating party to manipulate through “ways and mean legal gymnastics” to favour them.
The Chief Justice had claimed the allegation was bogus, but on Monday, July 19, the Lawyer Afrifah voluntarily stormed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and presented what is believed to be his basis for the allegation.
After the almost six-hour closed-door interactions, lawyer Afrifah stood his ground and told journalists that he had not done anything wrong in making such a serious allegation.
Obviously confident about his basis for the allegations, he said: “I have not done anything wrong. If you look at the accusations against me, I have given my response. The response is now public knowledge, what else can I say?”
Kwasi Afrifah, who is a lawyer from the O&A Legal Consult, was accused of professional misconduct but had responded in an extremely revealing response to the General Legal Council (GLC), where he alleged that the Chief Justice demanded a US$5 million bribe from one Chief Oyeedom Obrani Kwesi Atta VI.
On March 1, 2021, chief Kwesi Atta VI petitioned the General Legal Council (GLC), accusing Afrifa of squandering some US$100,000 he paid him to undertake “ways and means gymnastics” at the Supreme Court to obtain a favourable judgment in his suit number J8/96/2020 which was filed against the Ghana Telecom Company Limited for some monies he [Chief Kwesi Atta VI] was claiming.
However, ahead of his appearance before the GLC to answer to the allegations against him, lawyer Afrifa has written his startling response.
According to Afrifa, Chief Kwesi Atta IV’s accusations were designed to hide a more serious issue involving how he was kicked off the case and replaced with Lawyer Akoto Ampaw, President Akufo Addo’s led lawyer in the 2021 presidential election petition.
In his counter-petition to the Secretary to the GLC, Mr. Afrifa wrote that he had been engaged as a lawyer for Chief Kwesi Atta VI in the Ghana Telecom litigation and had subsequently done several “work” for the chief, including work at the National House of Chiefs.
According to Afrifa, in July 2020 Kwesi Atta VI told him that some of his well-connected friends had taken him [Chief Kwesi Atta VI] to see the Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, who had agreed to undertake legal gymnastics for the chief to win his case against Ghana Telecom.
“He further informed me that the Chief Justice had demanded a bribe of USD 5,000,000.00for a successful outcome to his case and that he had already paid USD500,000.00 to the Chief Justice. He further informed me that he was hard-pressed to raise the remainder of the USD5,000,000.00 and so I should refund some of the GHC 300,000.00 paid to me as fees because he had in line with the advice of the Chief Justice, engaged Akoto Ampaw Esq as Solicitor to continue the case before the Supreme Court,” Afrifa said in a damning revelation.
He continued: “Indeed, he told me that his own investigations which he caused the BNI to conduct shows that the Chief Justice was in the process of acquiring several properties at a posh residential area in Kumasi and therefore needed the money urgently. I told him I was simply not interested in his dealings with politicians and persons wielding power.”
Apparently, Oyeedom Obrani Kwesi Atta VI is well connected to the Jubilee House as well, according to Mr. Afrifa and that if the “experienced litigant” and well-connected Kwesi Atta VI needed “legal gymnastics” to win his case, he was the least to be able to help him.
This is not the first time bribery allegations of such magnitude have hit the judiciary and threatened to derail the pious image that the third arm of government is supposed to have.
A couple of years ago, undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposed several high-profile judges for collecting bribes to manipulate cases. Some of the bribes include cash and goats.
Also, this is not the first time either that Ace Ankomah has been linked to convoluted litigation that has been marred by alleged insider manipulations and bribery. He was named as a principal player in the infamous Menzgold saga.
In this instance, it is currently unclear what role Ace Ankomah may have played behind the scenes.