Lawyer Kwasi Afrifa made two interesting but damning allegations against Chief Justice Anim Yeboah –
1. That his client told him, he was able to negotiate with Chief Justice Anim Yeboah to accept a USD5 million bribe for him to win the case at the Supreme Court of which he paid USD500,000.
2. That Chief Justice Anim Yeboah counselled him to dump his lawyer, Kwasi Afrifa, and go for Akoto Ampaw as that was the only way he could help him win the case at the Supreme Court.
Without prejudice to the action at the Supreme Court and the petition pending at the GLC, we must interrogate these two claims to establish whether or not these acts happened during the trial?
It must be stated that, the case in respect of which these allegations originated from travelled from the Swedru High Court, to the Court of Appeal and now with the Supreme Court. It is a litigation over land that the Chief, on one side, and Ghana Telecommunication Company Ltd and Lands Commission, on the other side, are claiming ownership.
At the High Court, judgement was entered in favor of the Chief. The Cape Coast Court of Appeal affirmed the judgement of the High Court in favor of the Chief. It is important to note that, Kwasi Afrifa was only engaged by the Chief when the case travelled to the Court of Appeal. And this was rightly captured in Kwasi Afrifa’s response to the GLC and documents from the court I have sighted also support this assertion.
After the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the High Court in favor of the Chief, Ghana Telecommunication Company Ltd and Lands Commission filed a civil appeal at the Supreme Court. At the Supreme Court, Kwasi Afrifa again represented the Chief but was led by Sam Joseph. This also supports Kwasi Afrifa’s assertion in his response to the GLC that he was engaged by the Chief to support another lawyer.
At the Supreme Court, Ghana Telecommunication Company Ltd filed for stay of execution which was granted in their favor but in a manner that they considered not in their favor so the motion was repeated. Justice Anim Yeboah Chaired the panel but the ruling was delivered by Justice Gbadegbe. After this ruling, Ghana Telecommunication Company Ltd filed another application, this time round for adduction of fresh evidence this application was granted in favor of Ghana Telecommunication Company Ltd. It was at this stage that funny things started to happen.
For the new application to be heard, documents from the Supreme Court indicate that the Chief replaced Kwasi Afrifa with Akoto Ampaw. This was where Akoto Ampaw came into the picture. Chief Justice Anim Yeboah reconstituted the panel but Chaired it. In fact he was the only Supreme Court Judge who remained on the panel. The Court granted the application in a unanimous decision. Not exhausted, a new application was filed again for adduction of additional evidence. Chief Justice Anim Yeboah again reconstituted the panel but remained on it as it Chair. At this stage, Akoto Ampaw represented the Chief at the Supreme Court. Judgment was given in favor of Ghana Telecommunication Company Ltd to adduce fresh evidence.
Interestingly, out of the five Justices who heard this application, it was only Justice Anim Yeboah who dissented and agreed with Akoto Ampaw. The point must be made that, before Akoto Ampaw took over the case, Chief Justice Anim Yeboah sided with his colleagues in the first two applications and thus, both applications were unanimous decisions. It was only when Akoto Ampaw took over the case that the Chief Justice decided to take different stance on the issue.
The Chief and new lawyer, Akoto Ampaw are seeking to stop Ghana Telecommunication Company Ltd from adducing new evidence to overturn judgment of the High Court. Chief Justice Anim Yeboah agrees with them but his colleagues led by Yoni Kulendi disagred. The main case is pending at the Supreme Court. It is yet to be established whether the adduction of new evidence will overturn the high Court judgement. But so far, the conduct of the Chief Justice seems to confirm the allegations contain in Kwasi Afrifa’s response to the petition before the GLC. The coming days will be interesting.
Amos Blessing Amorse
Deputy Greater Accra Regional Youth Organizer-NDC