Afrifa heads to court over CJ’s $5m bribery allegation probe

Kumasi-based lawyer Akwasi Afrifa has filed a suit at the High Court challenging disciplinary proceedings brought against him by the General Legal Council (GLC).

Lawyer Afrifa was reported to the Council by his former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV, after failing to return the balance of about $75,000 as legal fees collected from the Gomoa Afransi chief.

But in his response on July 8, 2021, the private legal practitioner disclosed how the chief had told him that the Chief Justice of Ghana, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, had demanded a bribe of $5 million to have his case with the Lands Commission and Ghana Telecommunications Limited ruled in his favour at the Supreme Court.

This allegation was denied by the Chief Justice, who reported the matter to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and further to the Disciplinary Committee of GLC.

After meeting the CID last month, lawyer Afrifa stood by his allegations.

But towards the end of July, GLC proved a prima facie case against him and charged him with nine counts of misconduct over the allegations.

These included: “That you, having been informed of an alleged unethical conduct in the office of the Chief Justice by your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI, the Complainant herein, failed to protect the sanctity and integrity of the legal profession by failing to disclose the allegation of bribery against the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana to the Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council or any other statutory body for an inquiry.

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“That you, in a preliminary inquiry before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council voluntarily admitted that you failed to issue any receipts to your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI for the payment of legal fees thereby committing a professional misconduct.

“That you, in a conversation with your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI about an alleged judicial manipulation by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, omitted to defend the reputation of the legal profession, and rather facilitated the commission of the alleged bribery offence by refunding to the Complainant legal fees you were legally and duly entitled to thereby failing to uphold the dignity and high standing of the legal profession.”

Mr Afrifa denies all these allegations and prays the Court to dismiss them accordingly.

He stands by his July 8, 2021 response to his former client’s complaint that the money was to be given to the Chief Justice to rule in his favour.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana