Sunday, May 26, 2024

Police should be allowed to probe $5M bribery claim against Chief Justice – Alex Abban

The lawyer for one of the figures in the alleged Chief Justice $5 million bribery scandal, Alex Abban, has welcomed the involvement of police in the matter.

Mr. Abban, who represents Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV, the chief cum businessman alleged to have implicated the Chief Justice in the receipt of a supposed $5 million bribe, said investigations were necessary to bolster confidence in the Judiciary.

The Chief Justice denied the allegations and has petitioned the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, to investigate the matter.

“As far as I am concerned, especially when a complaint has been made, let us allow the police to go on. We should not take the wind out of their sails by prejudging the matter,” Mr. Abban said.

In addition, he said his client would avail himself of investigations into the matter.

“We all need to assist in investigations into this matter,” Mr. Abban stressed.

The former MP described the bribery claims and “illegitimate” and said they were worrying.

“I am as much concerned about the outcome of this matter as any other person, including the Chief Justice.”

The allegations were contained in a response of a lawyer, Akwasi Afrifa, against a petition filed against him by his client at the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Counsel.

Ogyeedom IV, who was his client, dragged Mr. Afrifa to the GLC alleging that the lawyer collected $100,000 from him with a promise to help get a favorable judgment on his behalf.

Ogyeedom Atta IV asked the council to order Mr. Afrifa to refund the $100,000, saying the lawyer failed to deliver on his promise.

In a response dated July 8, 2021, Mr. Afrifa denied the claims by Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta IV, further alleging that he was asked to refund $300,000 in legal fees to enable his client to raise a $5 million bribe to be paid to the Chief Justice to get a favorable decision in the legal dispute.

On the claim that Mr. Afrifa was dropped as his lawyer as part of conditions for the intervention of the Chief Justice, Mr. Abban said “nothing of that nature happened.”

He said per his discussions with Ogyeedom IV, in July 2020, when Mr. Afrifa was representing him in court alone when his colleague counsel was ill, there was a back and forth with the judge in the case that necessitated their parting of ways.

“According to Ogyeedom, because of the way he got into that kind of banter and give and take in an arrogant manner, he felt… the posture of the lawyer could get them to look unfavorable in the case,” Mr. Abban stated.

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