Executive Director for (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson

Executive Director of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson says President Akufo-Addo has no respect for the laws of the country.

“President Akufo-Addo has shown that he has absolutely no respect for the laws considering what has been done and the effect of such backlash,” he said.

His comment comes after Akufo-Addo dismissed a petition by ASEPA calling for the removal of Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah from office. The President described the petition as unwarranted and unmeritorious.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the allegations against the Chief Justice are unsubstantiated and further concluded that the petition does not meet the threshold of proffering sufficiently strong evidence in support of the allegations. Neither does it attempt to substantiate any claim of any form.

Reacting to the President’s action on Joy FMs Top Story on Monday, Mr Thompson said the opinion of the President is not to be considered in the case, adding that “the President is only a conveyor …in this matter.”

 He further quoted Article 146 to support his claim.

The article stipulates that “the President, upon receipt of such a petition, must act in consultation with the Council of State to appoint a committee consisting two Justices of the Supreme Court and three other persons who are not members of the Council of State, nor Members of Parliament, nor lawyers to inquire into the petition and make a recommendation.”

Mr Thompson added that, the report from the Council of State was not made known to ASEPA therefore they are not certain which report it may be, whether it is that of the President or Council of State.

“The Council of State did their report, we don’t know the contents of the report of the Council of State. The President said he was going to apprise himself or he was going to apprise the Council of State with his findings on an investigation he went to do to ensure that they are on the same page. So if this report that they are reading is actually the report of the Council of State or the report of our President’s own investigation, we don’t know,” he said.

Background

ASEPA, a Civil Society Organisation in petitioning the President for the CJ’s removal from office, contended that the CJ is unfit to hold office, based on the allegation by Lawyer Kwasi Afrifa.

According to the private legal practitioner, Kwasi Afrifa the CJ had demanded a $5million bribe to deliver a favorable judgment in a case involving his (Afrifa’s) client, Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta IV.

Mr. Afrifa was dragged to the General Legal Council alleging that the lawyer collected $100,000 from him with a promise to help get a favourable judgement on his behalf.

The client asked the Council to order Mr. Afrifa to refund the $100,000, saying the lawyer failed to deliver on his promise.

Mr. Afrifa, however denied the claims, 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 favourable decision in the legal dispute.

Justice Anin-Yeboah has already denied the bribery allegations made against him.

The President subsequently referred the petition to the Council of State.



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