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General News of Tuesday, 24 August 2021


Council of State found ASEPA petition ‘frivolous, vexatious’ – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo receives the report from chair of the Council of State President Akufo-Addo receives the report from chair of the Council of State

• A petition to probe the Chief Justice over alleged corruption has been dismissed

• President Akufo-Addo in doing so referred to a report from the Council of State

• The petition was initiated by ASEPA, an anti-corruption civil society organization

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in dismissing a petition initiated by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), seeking the removal from office of Chief Justice Kwasi Anin- Yeboah, referred the petition to the Council of State.

According to an August 23, 2021 response to ASEPA, the presidency released a 12-page document detailing why the president dismissed the petition of the anti-corruption civil society group, referring to the Council of State’s report presented to him on August 20, 2021.

Even though at the time of receiving the report from chair of the Council, President Akufo-Addo said the contents will be treated with confidentiality, the response to ASEPA gave a glimpse of some of the findings and conclusions the Council came to.

The second paragraph of the 10th page read: “The Council of State in its letter dated, 20th August, 2021, conveying its conclusions on consultations with me on the petition, concluded firmly that the petition initiated by ASEPA for the removal of the Chief Justice on the grounds of stated misbehavious is frivolous and vexatious. The Council found that the petition does not meet the prima facie standard envisaged under article 146 (6) of the Constitution and thus, ought to be dismissed in limine.”

President Akufo-Addo upon receipt of ASEPA’s July 13 petition referred it to the Council of State on July 20, 2021 with the basis of consultation being to determine in law whether the petition discloses a prima facie case against the Chief Justice for which reason the president should appoint a committee to probe further.

Some of the determinations reached by the president were as follows: “The petitioner relies on allegations made by a certain lawyer, Mr Kwasi Afrifa, in his response to a complaint of misconduct made against the Chief Justice based on what he alleges another person (his former client), told him.

The President held that ASEPA whiles making no allegations in and of themselves, presented a petition that was conjectural and speculative, providing nothing of substance to assist in proceedings for the removal of the Chief Justice.

“It is correct to say that the petitioner does not possess any personal knowledge of any of the matter that the petitioner advances as the foundation of the petition.

“The petitioner fails to meet the threshold of proffering sufficiently strong evidence in support of his allegation for the opposing side to be called to answer to it.

“In actual fact, the petitioner fails to provide any evidence at all, in support of the spurious allegations made against the Chief Justice. It does not attempt to substantiate any of the claims in any form.

“To entertain further proceedings on third hand and fourth hand hearsay, as the petition is replete with, will violate legally acceptable standards of fairness and weaken the efficacy of the top echelon of the Judiciary,” the president stressed.

Below is President Akufo-Addo's full response to the petition:

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