Petition to remove Chief Justice premature - Presidency

Accra, Aug. 3, GNA - The Jubilee House has described as 'premature' the petition to have Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah suspended over a five million-dollar bribery allegation.

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), a civil society anti-corruption organisation, last month petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to invoke Article 146 (6) of the Constitution for the removal of the Chief Justice over the said matter.

A private legal practitioner, Akwasi Afrifa, had alleged that the Chief Justice had demanded five million dollars from his client, one Nana Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV, to purportedly influence his case before the Supreme Court.

A letter dated August 2, 2021, and signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, addressed to Mr Mensah Thompson, the Executive Director of ASEPA, said the request by the organisation was premature because a prima facie case had not been determined against the Chief Justice over the allegation.

The letter explained that the President, in accordance with the law, and in consultation with the Council of State, "must determine whether or not the petition you submitted, invoking Article 146 (6) proceedings against the Chief Justice discloses a prima facie case."

"It is only when such determination is made in the affirmative that the President will be required to proceed with appointing a Committee, again in consultation with the Council of State, to inquire into the petition," the letter said.

The Presidency, in an earlier letter to ASEPA to acknowledge receipt of its petition, stated that the President had commenced the consultations process on the matter.

The Chief Justice has since denied the allegation levelled against him and asked the Police CID to conduct investigations into it.

He also directed a petition to be lodged with the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council in respect of the specific matter.

Although the Chief Justice has denied the accusation, ASEPA contends that the allegations have brought the name of the Judiciary into disrepute and cast a serious slur on justice administration in the country, hence the petition.