Lawyer Akwasi Afrifa, the whistleblowing lawyer who landed Chief Justice (CJ) Kwasi Anin-Yeboah in hot water with his allegation that CJ demanded a $5million bribe from a litigant, has dragged the case to court.
In what may become one milestone case, lawyer Afrifah, by the legal suit, is attempting to force into the docks and compel him to answer to serious allegations of bribery.
This is apparently due to suspicions that the General Legal Council (GLC) headed by the CJ himself cannot fairly investigate the allegation following Afrifa’s summoning to the disciplinary body of the GLC.
In a writ that has hit the media an indefatigable Afrifa says Kwasi Anin Yeboah is unfit to be the Chief Justice of Ghana and is seeking “A declaration that the pattern of illegal improper unconstitutional and flagrant disregard for propriety exhibited by the 1st Defendant makes him unfit for the high and exalted office of Chief Justice of Ghana.”
He also laments that the Chief Justice, who is now a bribery suspect, is not playing to the rules of law by relying on the advantages of his mighty office to fight his case in court.
His reliefs sought from the court include, “A declaration that it is wrongful, illegal impermissible and abusive of the Office of Chief Justice for the 1st Defendant to use the Judicial Secretary of the Judicial Service established under Article 125 of the Constitution, 1992, as an independent arm of government to file a complaint to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Ghana Police Service at the National Police Headquarters, Accra against the Plaintiff in a matter personal to the 1st Defendant.”
he also wants “A declaration that the conduct of the 1st Defendant (CJ) in using panel members of the 2nd Defendant (GLC) to prosecute a personal matter against the Plaintiff constitutes usurpation of independence, interference in the administration of justice and prejudicial to justice delivery contrary to his oath of office, the law and best practices befitting the high office of Chief Justice.”
In other words Lawyer Afrifa is saying it is against natural justice for the CJ to in a sense, be judge, and jury in his own case.
It would be recalled, Lawyer Afrifa hit the headlines, when he alleged that his client and traditional ruler, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta IV, had told him that the CJ had demanded a bribe of $5million from him to manipulate a pending case for him in court.
The money is allegedly meant to sweeten the CJ so that he skews judgment in a case that the Chief is having against Ghana Telecom, and over which the CJ is presiding.
The CJ however denied the allegation and called in the Police. He also dragged Lawyer Afrifa to the GLC for disciplinary action. Interestingly, the CJ Chairs the disciplinary council of the GLC.
In response, Lawyer Afrifa has sued both the CJ and the GLC. Other reliefs sought include, “A declaration that Plaintiff’s response to a purported complaint instigated engineered and directed by the 1st Defendant using one Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV as a surrogate dated 1st March 2021 to the 2nd Defendant is not actionable in law and does not breach any rule of law, practice or prescription.”
Lawyer Afrifa also wants a declaration the refusal of the CJ to declare a full and comprehensive declaration of his assets, was unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.