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Chief Justice faces property grabbing, age falsification, judgment manipulation claims

Details of plush properties linked to the Chief Justice are beginning to emerge in a lawsuit with claims several acquisitions of properties in prime areas in the country, could not be acquired on his income as the head of Ghana’s judiciary.

This according to a leaked writ of summons in the name of one Lawyer Kwasi Afrifa, draws more than a reasonable suggestion “of a pattern of transactional delivery of judgments in cases in which he adjudicates, thus explaining his penchant to be on almost every case of note at the Supreme Court”.

Doubts, have also been raised about the actual age of Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah.

Also mentioned, are allegations claims that he had been involved in manipulating judgments.

One of these properties, is a massive mansion located at Asokwa, a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, which is near completion, and videos, as well as pictures of the building, have been cited as part of a writ on its way to Court against the Chief Justice; the fourth most powerful man in Ghana.

The Chief Justice, is alleged to “have acquired about five (5) houses outright by purchase in that gorgeous and serene part of Kumasi during his short tenure as head of the judiciary”.

Mr Afrifa’s writ alleged that Justice Anin Yeboah, has not been truthful about his actual assets, despite being obliged by law to do so.

The writ, which The Herald has sighted, named Justice Anin Yeboah, as the first defendant, the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council, as the second defendant and the Supreme Court Judge, Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie described as “lifelong friend” of the Chief Justice, as the third defendant.

But a source close to Chief Justice, who is a legal practitioner, suggested that the claims by Lawyer Afrifa, lacked merit, he told The Herald that they “cannot be substantiated”.

However, aside the property issues, Lawyer Afrifa, also raised doubt on the true age of the Chief Justice, saying “that legitimate questions have also been raised about the true and proper age of the 1st Defendant which he has intentionally suppressed as a disclosure makes him unqualified for the high office and position.

This suppression is contemptuous of parliament, breach of the oath of office and perjury of the worst kind”.

Mr Afrifa, a Kumasi-based legal practitioner in his leaked writ, portrayed a deeper relationship and knowledge of the Chief Justice. Indeed, there are reports that the two had been bosom friends in years past.

He insists that, he has evidence of improper conduct on the part of Justice Anin Yeboah, making him unfit for the high, exalted and venerable office of Chief Justice.

According to him, it has come to his knowledge that upon being appointed the Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice, Mr Anin Yeboah “disregarded the duty of mandatory declaration of assets required of him by law thereby betraying the trust and confidence reposed in him by the general populace”.

“This deliberate default makes” Justice Anin Yeboah “unfit for the high office of Chief Justice because of his unrelenting pattern of serial breaches of fundamental rules and practices making him bereft of “high moral character and proven integrity” mandatorily required by Article 128(4) of the 1992 Constitution”.

Lawyer Afrifa, stated that it has also come to his knowledge that the during in short period that Justice Anin Yeboah has served “as Chief Justice he has made several acquisitions of properties in prime areas in Ghana which could not be acquired on his income and therefore more than reasonably suggestive of a pattern of transactional delivery of judgments in cases in which he adjudicates thus explaining his penchant to be on almost every case of note at the Supreme Court”.

He stated that “it is said with certainty that on one occasion he went inspecting a property he wanted to acquire in Kumasi with a motorcade in the company of a justice of the Court of Appeal”, and promised to will lead credible evidence of all the acquisitions wherever situated in Ghana and persons who witnessed the said motorcade.

He swore to “tender pictures of the said property inspected with a motorcade as well as the massive and hasty renovation/reconstruction of a house acquired by the Chief Justice at Asokwa, Kumasi” adding “the 1st Defendant is known to have acquired about five (5) houses outright by purchase in that gorgeous and serene part of Kumasi during his short tenure as head of the judiciary”.

Lawyer Afrifa, accused the Chief Justice of an orchestrated ploy to have the Ghana Police Service intimidate, terrify and petrify him into silence by merely filing a complaint against him with the Police him, adding the complaint “has absolutely no substance whatsoever”.

He disclosed that “significantly, the police have levelled two charges of offensive conduct and publishing false material against him” following the Chief Justice’s complaints filed on his behalf by the Judicial Secretary; Cynthia Pamela Akotoaa Addo.

More on the properties, Lawyer Afrifa stated that Chief Justice had “approached the Town and Country Planning Office in Kumasi and demanded that by virtue of his position as Chief Justice he should be granted a parcel of land in a prime area in Kumasi”.

This, “the Town and Country Planning Office in Kumasi duly obliged by granting him the said land which he promptly proceeded to sell and put the proceeds to his own private use, a clear abuse of his position and office”.

The Chief Justice, the lawyer went on had also “used his position as Chief Justice to demand and receive several shops/stores at the Kumasi City Market {the new reconstructed market at Kejetia) for his wife and several family members contrary to the ethics of his office and thereby bringing the office of Chief Justice into disrepute”.

Additionally, the Chief Justice, he said had prevailed upon a sitting justice of the High Court, Kumasi to make a quick determination of a matter which was sub judice involving a house he (Chief Justice) wanted to purchase in favour of the party from whom he could purchase without inhibition.

The Chief Justice, the lawyer alleged “has since purchased the property from the obliging party who emerged victorious in the suit in line with the direction of the 1st Defendant. A more grotesque direct interference in the administration of justice cannot be imagined”, the lawsuit said.

Justice Anin Yeboah, he alleged had also “schemed with a Kumasi-based Private Legal Practitioner to upset a consent judgment based on mutual settlement between parties in an estate matter before the High Court, Kumasi and instructed the said lawyer to file processes setting aside the consent judgment so he could purchase the property forming part of the estate from one of the parties. This treacherous deed was duly accomplished” by Justice Anin Yeboah.

Lawyer Afrifa, alleged that Justice Anin Yeboah “is in the habit of ordering litigants to remove their cases from lawyers he cannot collude with and send it to particular lawyers who would be readily compliant with his judicial chicanery”.

According to him, “there is a Kumasi-based lawyer who is a surrogate of the 1st Defendant and doubles as a spy for him in Kumasi. This lawyer is in constant touch with the 1st Defendant and uses the association with the 1st Defendant as the basis for clout in legal and judicial circles. By the unsavoury collusion between the lawyer and the 1st Defendant juicy cases are strategized to end up with the lawyer who regularly gives a part of the income generated to the 1st Defendant”.

Lawyer Afrifa, stated “that he is guided and guarded by a desire to ensure probity accountability and good behaviour by public office holders hence his unquenching desire to insist on the legitimate performance of public duty and public office holding in line with the Preamble of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which enjoins all and sundry to: “in the name of the almighty God, act in solemn declaration and affirmation of our commitment to freedom, justice, probity and accountability”.

Lawyer Afrifa further alleged that Justice Anin Yeboah had “sent a recently-retired justice of the Supreme Court to meet a faction of the Saviour Church of Ghana who are in litigation and encouraged them to expedite the proceedings at the lower court so they get to the Supreme Court in good time where he will readily give a judgment favourable to the said faction having agreed a monetary fee with this faction.

The Kumasi-based lawyer insisted “that the unremitting pattern of “transactional decisions” involving the Chief Justice would be laid bare by the calling of persons who have witnessed same and are in a position to speak positively to them.

The Lawyer, said in his quest and endeavour to be true to the tenets prescription and demands of true constitutional behaviour he has been put to great trouble and expense”.

The writ said “His life and liberty have been threatened yet he is undeterred in his determination to ensure, in his own small way, that the high and mighty are subjected to the law in the same manner as the low and insignificant so as to give true meaning to the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which states in the Preamble that the People of Ghana must “establish a framework of Government which shall secure for ourselves and posterity the blessings of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity”.

The lawyer is behind allegations against the Chief Justice in a petition filed against him at the General Legal Council by a client called Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV.

According to him, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah allegedly demanded US$5million from his client in order to pass a favourable verdict over a land issue.

“At the end of July 2020, the Petitioner informed me that friends of his who were highly connected politically had taken him to see the Chief Justice who had agreed to help him win his case on condition that he drops my good self as the lawyer handling the case for him and engage Akoto Ampaw Esq in my stead.

“He further informed me that the Chief Justice had demanded a bribe of US$5,000,000 for a successful outcome to his case and that he had already paid US$500,000 to the Chief Justice. He further indicated that he was hard-pressed to raise the remainder of the US$5,000,000 and so I should refund some of the GH¢300,000 paid me as fees because he had in line with the advice of the Chief Justice, engaged Akoto Ampaw Esq as solicitor to continue the case before the Supreme Court,” Afrifa said.

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