Deputy Director of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, says allegations made against the Chief Justice, Kwesi Anin-Yeboah, by a Kumasi based lawyer, Kwasi Afrifa, are mere fabrications and should be treated with the contempt that it deserves.
According to him, people closer to the Chief Justice know that he is an upright man who can’t be taking bribes and meddling in judicial proceedings.
He said that the allegations are only meant to malign the Chief Justice and to cast doubt on the integrity of the Justice of the Supreme Court.
His comment comes after one Kwasi Afrifa Esq of O & A Legal Consult in Kumasi, about a week ago, accused the Chief Justice of requesting $5million from a former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV, in order for him to receive a favourable judgement from the Supreme Court, in the matter of Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV V Ghana Telecommunications Company & Lands Commission.
This was contained in a letter of defence to the Ghana Legal Council after his former client had petitioned the Council against him over his failure to pay an amount of $75,000 (Akwasi Afrifa, Esq) owes the petitioner.
Reacting to the allegations, Kofi Bentil said, “This matter is an issue simply because a very reckless lawyer has mentioned the name of the CJ. Apart from that, this is not an issue.
“This is a very small matter of you and your client dealing with your fees and dealing with it in the quiet, and then you go and invoke a huge problem.
“I agree that this is serious, but the reason why it’s serious is that this is a very high office, and clearly when you make a mention of a CJ in this circumstance, everybody sits up. So now the CJ has to take time off his onerous duties to come and defend himself, and that is entirely unfair.”
He added that “I agree with Martin [Kpebu] when he says that this casts doubt on the CJ’s own credibility, but I want to assure everybody that nobody who knows our present CJ has any doubt that this is a fabrication. So unless it is proven, I don’t think the CJ will suffer any real damage in the eyes of any serious lawyer in the country.”
Kofi Bentil expressed that though it was of importance to hold leaders to account, it was equally very necessary to protect the high offices of government from “such reckless utterances which now draw us all into unnecessary rabbit holes of trying to prove something which clearly looks fabricated.”
He stated that calls to get the Chief Justice to step down for a thorough investigation are misplaced and that the Chief Justice should be left to continue his duties leading Ghana’s Judicial Service.
“I mean, I think on the balance of the probability as things are now, and I am saying this because going forward, I think we must be measured in how much we demand from the CJ. He cannot respond to everybody’s reckless utterance.
“As far as I am concerned, this should not be taken seriously. I agree that he has referred it to the police; I understand the NDC’s call as politics, and I don’t think much of what they’re saying will happen. However, the CJ will not step down because he should not step down,” he said.