President Nana Akufo-Addo has described as unwarranted and unmeritorious a petition seeking the removal of the Chief Justice (CJ), Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, from office.
The Chief Justice has been in the news lately following allegations by private legal practitioner, Akwasi Afrifa, that he had demanded a $5million bribe to deliver a favourable judgment in a case involving his (Afrifa’s) client.
The Supreme Court case of Frank Agyei Twum v Attorney General and Bright Akwetey introduced the additional requirement of a prima facie determination during this consultation. The court speaking through Justice Date-Bah noted as follows:
“The consultation by the President with the Council of State in respect of the appointment of a Committee to inquire into a petition for the removal of the Chief Justice, shall first determine whether the said petition discloses a prima facie case before the Committee is appointed.”
President Akufo-Addo, in a letter dated August 20, 2021, communicated the outcome of his consultation with the Council of State, to ASEPA. The President in the response to ASEPA noted that the petition is not anchored on any allegation made directly or emanating from the petitioner but rather allegations made by Lawyer Afrifa.
The President said this is a reproduction of a third or fourth hand hearsay as basis seeking to trigger serious process of the removal of the CJ.
No evidence, the President argues, is attached to the petition beyond Mr Afrifa’s response and a request by the Judicial Secretary to the Ghana Police Service to investigate the allegations.
The President indicated that these allegations are unsubstantiated. He, therefore, concluded that the petition does not meet the threshold of proffering sufficiently strong evidence in support of the allegations. Neither does it attempt to substantiate any claim of any form. The President concluded thus: “The petition is dismissed accordingly.”