Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI has denied allegations made by Mr Kwasi Afrifa, a lawyer that represented him in a case, that he (Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI) had told him (Mr Kwasi Afrifa) that Chief Justice Anin Yeboah demanded a bribe of $5 million so he could help him (Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI) get a favourable outcome from the courts.
Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI dragged his former lawyer to the General Legal Council, through a petition dated 1 March 2021, to have him sanctioned concerning his handling of a case involving the petitioner and Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited.
In the petition, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI said: “I engaged the said lawyer, Mr Kwasi Afrifa, to handle my case, in which engagement we agreed on a fee of GHS300,000, which I paid him in full”.
“In the course of handling the case, he suggested to me that it was in my interest to, besides his fully paid-up fees, provide an amount of USD100,000 to enable him to do some ‘ways and means’ (gymnastics) on my case so that we can obtain a favourable decision”.
“Being naïve and eager to see to the completion of my case favourably, I acceded to his request for him to have the money to go and perform the said gymnastics to ensure success in my case. Although I believed in the strength of my case, I decided to give him the said money based on the advice he gave”, the petition wrote.
However, he said “I realised, from is demeanour, that he did not use the money for its intended purpose as advised, and, so, I fired him from the case and asked him for a refund of the money but he has since refunded USD25,000 leaving a balance of USD75,000. All efforts to retrieve the remaining amount have failed”, he complained.
“I am appealing to you, as the chairman of the General Legal Council of lawyers, to help me retrieve my USD75,000 from Kwasi Afrifa”, he pleaded via the petition.
Responding to the claims made against him in the petition, Mr Afrifa said: “At the end of July 2020, the petitioner informed me that friends of his, who were highly connected, politically, had taken him to see the Chief Justice, who had agreed to help him win his case on condition that he drops my good self, as the lawyer handling the case for him, and engage Akoto Ampaw Esq in my stead”.
“He [petitioner] further informed me that the Chief Justice has demanded a bribe of USD5 million for a successful outcome of his case and that he had already paid USD500,000 to the Chief Justice”, he claimed.
“He further indicated that he was hard-pressed to raise the remainder of the USD5 million and, so, I should refund some of the GHS300,000 paid to me as fees because he had, in line with advice of the Chief Justice, engaged Akoto Ampaw Esq as solicitor, to continue the case before the Supreme Court”, he noted.
“Out of a sense of dignity on my part, I told him that I would rather refund the entire GHS300,000 paid to me and bear the cost of air travel, hotel bills and other expenditure incurred by me in prosecuting his cases at Cape Coast and in Accra”, Mr Afrifa wrote.
He continued: “We aggregated the GHS300,000 paid to me as being the equivalent of USD50,000, which I was to refund to him without any timeline being indicated. He said he wanted the payment in dollars because he was raising the remainder of the money to be paid the Chief Justice and that currency was his currency of choice”.
“On the 27 January 2021, I paid an amount of USD25,000 to the petitioner and subsequently paidUSD15,000 to him, making a total of USD40,000, so, the outstanding amount that I have to refund to him is USD10,000”, he insisted, adding: “I am ready, willing and able to make the said payment of USD10,000 when I appear before the committee on 15 July 2021”.
“I categorically deny ever suggesting to the petitioner that he provide any money whatsoever for what he cryptically describes in the said petition as ‘ways and means (gymnastics)’. I certainly have not and will not collect or receive any such money from him”.
In a short press statement dated 11 July 2021 in which he denied the bribery allegations, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI said: “My attention has been drawn to a media publication – allegations against my good self and some prominent third parties, including the Chief Justice”.
“I unequivocally deny all allegations of intended bribery or actual bribery of any judge including the Chief Justice, who I have never met or known personally apart from seeing him a distance from the bench”, he noted.
He added: “I re-emphasise that I have never met the Chief Justice before nor dealt with him directly or indirectly in official or private capacity, neither do I know where he lives nor have his phone number to have communicated with him”.
“I have since applied for a copy of the said response to my petition against Mr Afrifa in which those fabrications and allegations are said to be contained and will appropriately react to the General Legal Council upon receipt of same”, announcing: “Stay tuned for the truth”.