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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Akoto Ampaw lists five ‘facts’ regarding US$5 million bribery allegation

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• Lawyer Ampaw has issued a strongly worded response with regards to a US$5 million bribery allegation

• He has since issued a list of five facts regarding the accusations levelled by a colleague lawyer, Kwasi Afrifa

• The Chief Justice has been cited in the alleged bribery accusation

While the iron may still be hot amid a US$5 million bribery allegation against Ghana’s Chief Justice, a lawyer cited in the allegation has issued a strongly worded response.

Lawyer Akoto Ampaw in a statement pointed he had taken exception to a recent insinuation cast by colleague Kwasi Afrifa that his client Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI hired him to influence the Chief Justice for a judgement to be delivered in favour of the Gomoa Afransi chief.

The development comes after the Kumasi-based lawyer Afrifa accused the Chief Justice of suggesting that he [Afrifa] is replaced with Akoto Ampaw as part of the deal.

But the claim has since been described as “infantile and preposterous”. Akoto Ampaw said in a response issued on Monday, July 19, 2021, that the accusation “did not deserve the dignity of a response” from him.

Additionally, Akoto Ampaw in the concluding part of his response sighted by GhanaWeb outlined some five “facts” regarding Afrifa and the bribery accusations levelled against the Chief Justice.

“Lawyer Afrifa must have his own diabolical reasons for trying to implicate me in this crazy judicial bribery scandal, which manifestly does not add up. That is his problem. What I know as the facts are the following,” Akoto Ampaw stated.

See Lawyer Ampaw’s five fact response below:

1. Some time at the end of July, 2020, Ogyeedom came to see me at our offices at Kojo Thompson Road, Adabraka, Accra, with a request that he wanted me to take over the prosecution of his case in the Supreme Court. I indicated that it would be foolhardy on my part to take over a case before the Supreme Court that was to be heard in some two to three days’ time.

I therefore urged him to still rely on his current legal team in the pending application and, if thereafter, he still wanted my professional services, I would be ready to hear him out.

2. Sometime later, during the legal vacation, last year, Ogyeedom came back to consult with me, and, with much reluctance, I agreed to take up the brief, upon the very clear understanding that if he wanted me to take up the case because he thought I was politically connected or had friends within the judiciary, then he was at the wrong place, as I did not carry on my work as a lawyer by such dishonourable means.

Indeed, I have had to make similar caveat to many potential clients when they seek my professional services, as, alas, these days, virtually everything seems to be for sale in our country and ethical standards have gone to the dogs. Fortunately, my junior, Nicholas Lenin Anane Agyei, was present in my office when I laid out this standard for my professional relationship with Ogyeedom, and he can testify to same.

3. Eventually I agreed to take up the brief and filed notice of change of lawyer in the Supreme Court sometime in October. I have since been in the Supreme Court on a few occasions in respect of the matter to move an application to adduce new evidence in response to the Court’s grant of an earlier application by the appellant to adduce new evidence.

On 31st March, 2021, the Supreme Court granted our application by a four to one ruling. Incidentally, the Chief Justice, who, according to lawyer Afrifa’s yarn, wanted me to be engaged as lawyer in the matter to facilitate an outcome favourable to my client, was the dissenting judge out of a panel of five. The records are there for anyone to access, including the media.

4. For the record, I wish to state, without any equivocation, that the only dealings I have had with the Chief Justice in this matter have been in open court as the lawyer for Ogyeedom. Beyond that I have had no dealings whatsoever with the Chief Justice in this matter.

Furthermore, even though, of course, I have known the Chief Justice since his law student days in the 70’s, once he became a judge, I have kept my respectful and studious distance from him, as I have from other justices of the Supreme Court, past and present, even if they may have been my friends in school. I have adopted this attitude in order to avoid the slightest insinuation that I may be using my personal relationship with judges to subvert the cause of justice.

I have never even stepped into the Chief Justice’s official residence, since he was elevated to the high office. Yes, I know ethical values are in short currency in our dear country these days, and so people are cynical about almost everything and everyone, and are ready to believe the worst in any person. I am also well aware that almost everything is now reduced to ugly partisan party politics, and that the main political parties will not lose an opportunity to have a go at each other, on the slightest of occasion, however tenuous the evidential basis.

I can, however, assure Ghanaians that I am definitely not one of those who have lost their values and are ready to sell their soul to the God of money and political power. I have been involved in national life for over forty years now, and if it had been my desire to make money out of politics at the expense of the interests of our people, I would have done so long, long ago. Even more preposterous is the infantile idea that I would collude with anyone, much more the Chief Justice of our Republic, to subvert the cause of justice.

5. I will therefore not permit any one to sully my name on the altar of politics or personal convenience. I take this opportunity to serve notice to any political group or commentator and also media practitioners that I would not have anyone drag my good name and reputation down the slimy mud of corruption in order to curry political favour or boost audiences. In particular, I wish to have it on record that I reserve all my legal rights and options occasioned by lawyer Afrifa’s scandalous and defamatory publication of, and concerning me.

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