The Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, appears to be sitting on a vital aspect of the case involving the Kumasi-based lawyer, Kwesi Afrifa, the man at the center of the US$5 million bribery allegation.
The Herald is informed that an order of certiorari filed by the lawyer seeking judicial review into the decision of the General Legal Council (GLC) to ban him, has not been assigned to any of the eight High Court judges handling matters daily during the legal vacation, leaving this all-important matter hanging.
The order was filed early August against the Council, but has not been responded to, although records show it has been served together with a statement of case.
The Herald is informed that the time for the Council to file its response, has long even expired.
Ironically, the Council regulates the conduct of lawyers in the country, and had been expected to live above reproach.
The situation has gotten many lawyers who are following the case to wonder why this matter of great national importance, had not been put before one of the vacation judges handling matters daily.
For now, the case involving the Chief Justice, has been shelved for no apparent reason, leaving the matters raised by Mr Afrifa in limbo.
This delay is said to have offended Article 23 of 1992 Constitution, which deals with administrative impropriety. It also said to have offended Act 296.
Lawyer Afrifa, a former counsel for Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI, who made the US$5million allegation against the Chief Justice, had sued the GLC over some decisions taken by the Council on the petition filed against him by his former client.
Kwasi Afrifa in his writ at the Accra High Court, is praying the court to reject the decision by the GLC after their meeting on July 15, 2021, arguing that the meeting was illegal and an affront to the rules of natural justice.
Mr Afrifa’s suit is in reaction to the decision by the GLC, to slap him with charges of misconduct in his engagement with Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI, as his counsel.
Preliminary investigations by the GLC, found Kwasi Afrifa guilty of nine counts of charges for which he is supposed to respond.
Lawyer Afrifa, was hauled to the Disciplinary Committee of the GLC after his client Ogyeedom petitioned the GLC over his unwillingness to refund an amount of $75,000.
Ogyeedom detailed in his petition that Mr Afriyie, while acting as his lawyer requested $100,000 for ‘ways and means’ in order to get a favourable ruling for him.
He, however, failed to deliver on his promise and Ogyeedom after unsuccessful attempts to retrieve his money sought refuge in the GLC.
In his response, Kwasi Afriyie, made damning allegations against Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah.
“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 the condition that he drops my good self as the lawyer handling the case for him and engage Akoto Ampaw Esq in my stead,” Kwasi Afrifa said in a response to the GLC.
“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 added.
The Council made adverse findings against lawyer Afrifa in its hearing of the bribery allegations.
However, Mr Afrifa, contends that the GLC erred in its judgement and has sued them in court.
He is praying the high court to set the hearing aside, arguing that the meeting was wrongful, illegal and contrary to the rules of natural justice.
He has prayed the court to stop any meetings of the GLC stemming from its preliminary meeting.
Both the Chief Justice and Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI, have denied the bribery allegation.
The Chief Justice, subsequently referred the matter to the CID for a probe.