The Chief Policy Analyst at the Ghana Institute of Public Policy Options has urged the citizenry to discard calls for a public inquiry into a $5 million bribery allegation made against the Chief Justice, Kwesi Anin-Yeboah.
Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby in an interview on Saturday was of the view that the call from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) including a request for the Chief Justice to step aside while investigations continue is just politicking.
“Their (NDC) call for a Commission of Inquiry into the allegations against the CJ on the $5 million allegations, is just politics and must be dismissed. If the chief had come out to say that the CJ demanded the said amount from him, or he was made to pay the said amount, then this matter would have demanded more merit but as it is, it is hearsay, and it should be dismissed for what it is,” he said.
A private legal practitioner, Akwasi Afrifa while responding to a petition filed against him at the General Legal Council alleged that a former client he was representing at the Supreme Court told him that the Chief Justice had demanded a US$5 million bribe from him to allegedly influence a court case in his favour.
Justice Anin-Yeboah has since denied the allegation and petitioned the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to investigate the matter.
However, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah at a press conference on Tuesday, 13th July 2021 argued it was necessary for the Chief justice to step aside, so the investigation is not compromised.
“The difficulty with this is that the investigations would concern the Chief Justice, who is the subject of the bribery allegations in this matter and in whom disciplinary authority against Judicial Officers is vested under Section 18 of the Judicial Service Act.”
“Good governance dictates that the Chief Justice steps aside during the pendency of the investigations by the Judicial Service relative to the issue of alleged misconduct on his part as a Supreme Court Judge. The Chief Justice cannot be a judge in his own cause, hence cannot set up a committee to investigate allegations of misconduct against himself.”
But Dr Wereko-Brobby insisted that since the said allegation isn’t coming from the chief in the suit but his lawyer with whom they have an issue, it cannot be taken seriously.
On the same show, Deputy Director of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, said the allegations are mere fabrications and should be treated with the contempt that it deserves.
According to him, people closer to the Chief Justice know that he is an upright man who can’t be taking bribes and meddling in judicial proceedings.
He said that the allegations are only meant to malign the Chief Justice and to cast doubt on the integrity of the Justice of the Supreme Court.
“This matter is an issue simply because a very reckless lawyer has mentioned the name of the CJ. Apart from that, this is not an issue. This is a very small matter of you and your client dealing with your fees and dealing with it in the quiet, and then you go and invoke a huge problem.
“I agree that this is serious, but the reason why it’s serious is that this is a very high office, and clearly when you make a mention of a CJ in this circumstance, everybody sits up. So now the CJ has to take time off his onerous duties to come and defend himself, and that is entirely unfair,” he said.
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