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General News of Monday, 23 August 2021


US$5m bribery allegation: Akufo-Addo dismisses petition seeking CJ’s removal

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah with President Akufo-Addo Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah with President Akufo-Addo

• President Akufo-Addo has dismissed a petition for the removal of CJ Anin-Yeboah over a bribery allegation

• The president had referred the petition by ASEPA to the Council of State

• The president described the petition as 'unwarranted and unmeritorious'

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has thrown out the petition brought before him by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) seeking the removal of the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, from office.

According to the president, the petition is “unwarranted and unmeritorious”.

In a 12-paged statement dated August 20, 2021, the president noted that “The petition is devoid of any basis warranting the setting up of a committee under Article 146 (6) to undertake the very serious business of removing a Chief Justice from office.”

The Chief Justice and lawyer Akoto Ampaw were named in a statement by one Kwasi Afrifa of O&A Legal Consult, addressed to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council, in which he [Afrifa] alleged that his client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI, once told him that “the Chief Justice had demanded a bribe of US$5,000,000 for a successful outcome of his case.”

The claim was vehemently denied by the Chief Justice through a statement signed by Judicial Secretary Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo. He further asked the Police CID to probe the matter.

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

But the president has said the petition was based on “third hand and fourth hand hearsay”.

CHRAJ suspends probe

This development comes a few days after the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) said it had suspended its probe of the allegation, for which the ombudsman had been petitioned by ASEPA.

According to CHRAJ, it is needless for the outfit to probe the matter considering that ASEPA also petitioned President Akufo-Addo over the same issue.

“Since the matter is pending in the appropriate constitutional forum, the commission, in the exercise of its discretion under Section 13 of Act 456, hereby ceases to investigate the complaint any further as the invocation of the Article 456 proceedings has effectively taken the matter out of the forum of the commission,” CHRAJ said in a letter to ASEPA.

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