CJ’s bribery scandal: Lawyer Afrifa slapped with 9 charges of misconduct

The lawyer who accused the Chief Justice of bribery has been slapped with nine misconduct charges by the General Legal Council’s Disciplinary Committee.

The GLC, in a statement, said the lawyer, Kwasi Afrifa, failed to provide evidence to back his bribery claims against Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah when he was given the opportunity to do so.

“That you, having been informed of an 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,” portions of the statement said.

The said $5 million bribery allegation, which mentions the Chief Justice stems from a tussle between Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI, chief of the Effutu and Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area and the private legal practitioner, Akwasi Afrifa.

Ogyeedom Obranu Kwesi Atta VI, Afrifa’s former client, had petitioned the GLC to intervene in his failed attempt to retrieve an amount of $75,000, being part of a $100,000 sum he had allegedly given to Afrifa who had requested for it to enable him to procure a favourable verdict from the apex court.

In response to the petition, Afrifa indicated that it was Ogyeedom Kwesi Atta rather who claimed to have met the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah and that the latter had demanded a $5 million bribe to help him win the case.

The Chief Justice, who has since denied the allegation and others, petitioned the Disciplinary Committee of the GLC to investigate the allegations and also reported same to the police CID for criminal investigation.

Below are details of the charges

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 an 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 a 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 offence 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 a 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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