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General News of Wednesday, 28 July 2021


US$5m bribe saga: ASEPA welcomes Akufo-Addo’s response

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah

• ASEPA says the response from the presidency is expected

• ASEPA had petitioned the President to activate provisions of Article 146 of the 1992 constitution

• The CJ was accused by one Lawyer Afrifa of demanding a US$5 million bribe from his client

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has welcomed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo response to its petition requesting the removal of Chief Justice (CJ) Kwasi Anin-Yeboah over a US$5 million bribery allegation.

According to ASEPA, the response from the presidency is in line with what they expected.

The CJ was accused by Lawyer Kwasi Afrifa that he had asked for a US$5 million bribe to deliver a favourable judgment in a case involving his client.

Justice Anin-Yeboah has since denied the allegations and asked the Police CID to probe the matter.

ASEPA in a petition last month called on the president to activate provisions of Article 146 of the 1992 constitution to begin impeachment proceedings against Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.

But in a statement signed by the Executive Secretary to the president, Nana Asante Bediatuo, the president said steps had already been instituted to determine the removal or otherwise of the Chief Justice.

“I write to acknowledge receipt of your undated petition in respect of the above subject matter and to inform you that the President of the Republic has, in accordance with Article 146 (6) of the Constitution, commenced the appropriate processes subsequent to being petitioned for the removal of the Chief Justice.”

Reacting to the letter by the presidency, Mensah Thompson, Executive Director, ASEPA said that the president is only applying the law where it should be.

“I think this is quite delightful, just as we expected the President to do. There is nothing unusual about this because the constitution is very clear about what the processes are and the President is supposed to act as a conveyor belt when he receives such petitions.

“It is a giant step towards our expectations because we want to get to the bottom of the matter and the processes must go on. If the processes are fair and transparent and the facts arrive, we will be satisfied with whatever outcome,” he told Citi News.

The constitutional provision on the removal of the Chief Justice

The 1992 Constitution of Ghana regarding the removal of the Chief Justice states under Article 146 (6) Where the petition is for the removal of the Chief Justice, the President shall, acting in consultation with the Council of State, appoint a committee consisting of two Justices of the Supreme Court, one of whom shall be appointed chairman by the President, and three other persons who are not members of the Council of State, nor members of Parliament, nor lawyers.

(7) The committee appointed under clause (6) of this article shall inquire into the petition and recommend to the President whether the Chief Justice ought to be removed from office.

(8) All proceedings under this article shall be held in camera, and the Justice or Chairman against whom the petition is made is entitled to be heard in his defence by himself or by a lawyer or other expert of his choice.

(9) The President shall, in each case, act in accordance with the recommendations of the committee.

(10) Where a petition has been referred to a committee under this article, the President may - (a) in the case of the Chief Justice, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, by warrant signed by him, suspend the Chief Justice; (b) in the case of any other Justice of a Superior court or of a Chairman of a Regional Tribunal, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial Council, suspend that Justice or that Chairman of a Regional Tribunal.

(11) The President may, at any time, revoke a suspension under this article.