Presidency responds to ASEPA’s petition for removal of CJ

Accra, The Office of the President has commenced the appropriate processes subsequent to being petitioned for the removal of the Chief Justice by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA).

A letter dated July 26, 2021 and signed by Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President, said, ” I write to acknowledge receipt of your undated petition in respect to invoke Article 146 for the removal of Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.”

The letter said the President had, in accordance with article 146 (6) of the Constitution thus began the process.

The petition is over the alleged role of the Chief Justice in the $5 million bribery allegation.

Meanwhile, the Chief Justice has asked the Police to conduct investigations into the bribery allegation levelled against him.

He has further directed that a petition 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 presidential petition.

The Group has also filed a petition to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to investigate the matter.

Mr Mensah Thompson, Executive Director of ASEPA, confirmed to the GNA that it has received a response from the Presidency on their petition.

Mr Akwasi Afrifa, a lawyer, in a response to a petition filed against him by his client, Nana Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV, alleged that his client told him the CJ had demanded a USD$5 million bribe to purportedly influence his case before the Supreme Court.

The case involves Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV versus the Ghana Telecommunications Company and Lands Commission.

The Chief Justice had denied the allegation and asked the Police Criminal Investigations Department to investigate the case.

Nana Kwesi Atta has also denied making the allegation against the Chief Justice.

The allegation arose from the case titled Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI vrs Ghana Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (now Vodafone Ghana Limited) and the Lands Commission.

It started at the Swedru High Court, went to the Court of Appeal, Cape Coast, now pending in the Supreme Court.

The facts are that, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI, has a $16 million judgment against Ghana Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (now Vodafone Ghana Ltd.), from the High Court, Swedru.

This followed an admission by Lands Commission at the Swedru High Court that it had granted the disputed land to Vodaphone Ghana Limited mistakenly, thinking it was state land duly acquired by Executive Instrument and compensation paid to Ogyeedom’s predecessor in title.

Vodaphone appealed the judgment to the Court of Appeal, but their appeal was dismissed and the Company (Vodafone) ordered by the Court to make a payment of $4 million as a part payment of the judgment debt pending the outcome of its appeal.

Vodafone filed an appeal to the Supreme Court following its dissatisfaction at the outcome in the Court of Appeal.

Pending the appeal at the Supreme Court, Vodafone discovered documents, including signed receipts from the archives, indicating that the land had been duly acquired under Executive Instrument No. 86 (E.I. 86) and compensation fully paid in 1969 by the government of Ghana for the acquisition of the land to one Nana Obranu Gura II, Ogyeedom’s predecessor in title.

Vodafone then filed an application for leave to adduce the fresh evidence in the Supreme Court to support its appeal.

The Company also filed an application before the Supreme Court for a stay of the execution of the remainder of the judgment pending the determination of its appeal.

Following the two applications, the President of the panel of five justices of the Supreme Court, before whom, the application for stay of execution of the payment of the rest of the judgment debt to Ogyeedom was placed, wrote a formal memo to the Chief Justice for the enhancement of the panel.

The Chief Justice then presided over an enhanced panel of seven justices who went on to grant an order for stay of execution of Ogyeedom’s entire judgment.

The panel also made a consequential order that Ogyeedom should refund into court, the part payment of the judgment debt of $4 million that he had already received from Vodafone.

The application for the adduction of fresh evidence was also granted in favour of Vodafone by the Court, composed differently but still presided over by the Chief Justice.

Ogyeedom also then brought an application before the Supreme Court , asking for leave to lead fresh evidence to contradict the new evidence that Vodafone had been granted leave to adduce to demonstrate that the signatures of Nana Obranu Gura II, his predecessor in title, on the compensation receipts had been forged.

By a majority of Four to One, the Court granted the application in favour of Ogyeedom, with the Chief Justice being the only one dissenting, insisting that it was wrong to give Ogyeedom an opportunity to remake his case.


Source: Ghana News Agency

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