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CJ’s accuser in US$5M bribery scandal files suit against GLC over misconduct charges

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Akwasi Afrifa, the lawyer who accused the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anim-Yeboah in a GHS5 million bribery case has filed a suit at the High Court challenging the disciplinary proceeding brought against him by the General Legal Council.

In the suit, the lawyer denied peddling falsehood against the Chief Justice.

According to him, the allegation against the Chief Justice was only a reportage of what he had been told by his client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI.

Mr. Afrifa was asked by the General Legal Council to answer nine charges of misconduct, following bribery allegations he levelled against the Chief Justice, an action he believes should be dismissed by the High Court.

The charges followed a preliminary inquiry by the GLC that concluded that a case of misconduct, has been established against Mr. Afrifa.

Mr. Afrifa is facing disciplinary proceedings after his client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI, petitioned the General Legal Council to retrieve $75,000 from him.

Ogyeedom VI alleged that Mr. Afrifa had asked for $100,000 to secure a favourable court judgment in a case he was handling on behalf of the former.

The bribery allegations came to light in a response dated July 8, 2021, where Mr. Afrifa denied the claims by Ogyeedom VI.

He claimed 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 favourable decision in a legal dispute.

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

In a related development, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday, August 23, 2021, dismissed a petition brought before him by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability, to impeach the Chief Justice over the bribery allegation.

Find below the various charges against Akwasi Afrifa

COUNT 1

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 9(11) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 1969 (LI. 613) as amended.

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, having been informed of alleged unethical conduct in the office of the Chief Justice by your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI, the Complainant herein, failed to protect the sanctity and integrity of the legal profession by failing to disclose the allegation of bribery against the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana to the Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council or any other statutory body for an inquiry.

COUNT 2

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 6(1) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 1969 (II. 613) as amended.

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, in a preliminary inquiry before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council voluntarily admitted that you failed to issue any receipts to your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI for the payment of legal fees thereby committing professional misconduct.

COUNT 3

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 2(2) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 1969 (L.I. 613) as amended.

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, in a conversation with your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI about an alleged judicial manipulation by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, omitted to defend the reputation of the legal profession and rather facilitated the commission of the alleged bribery offense by refunding to the Complainant legal fees you were legally and duly entitled to thereby failing to uphold the dignity and high standing of the legal profession.

COUNT 4

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 2(2) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 1969 (L.1. 613) as amended.

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, in a preliminary inquiry before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council voluntarily admitted that in responding to the complaint brought against you by your former client, Obranu Kwasi Atta VI. you forwarded a scanned copy of the said response which had information relating to your representation of the said client to a third party, via social media platform (WhatsApp), thereby failing to uphold the dignity and high standing of the legal profession.

COUNT 5

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 9(7) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 1969 (L.L. 613) as amended.

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, in your dealings with your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI, did not behave with utmost honesty and frankness when in a conversation with the said Complainant about alleged judicial manipulation by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, facilitated the commission of the alleged bribery offence by refunding to the Complainant legal fees you were legally and duly entitled to.

COUNT 6

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 52 (a) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 2020 (L.I. 2423).

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, in responding to a complaint brought against you by your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI, made a reckless statement suggesting judicial manipulation by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana which you knew or ought to have known that it was false.

COUNT 7

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 89 (c) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 2020 (L.I. 2423).

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, in responding to a complaint brought against you by your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI made a reckless statement imputing judicial manipulation by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, thereby engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

COUNT 8

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 61 (b) (ii) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 2020 (L.1. 2423).

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, in your response to a complaint brought against you by your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI, made a reckless statement imputing judicial manipulation by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, thereby diminishing public confidence in the administration of Justice.

COUNT 9

STATEMENT OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct in a professional respect, contrary to rule 21 (3) (b) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 2020 (LI. 2423).

PARTICULARS OF MISCONDUCT

That you, in a preliminary inquiry before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council voluntarily admitted that in responding to the complaint brought against you by your former client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwasi Atta VI. you forwarded a scanned copy of the said response which had information relating to your representation of the said client to a third party, via social media platform (WhatsApp), thereby making the information relating to your representation of your former client public.

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