President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that in line with constitutional requirements, if it becomes necessary that impeachment process should be started against the Chief Justice following the bribery allegations against him, the entire process will be done in camera.
He said this when the Chair of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siribuor presented the findings of the Council on the allegation and the petition filed by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) to impeach the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, to him at the Jubilee House on Friday August 20.
Nana Otuo Sibiri told the President that “Today we are here specifically Mr President to give you our response to a letter that we received from the Presidency under your hand, Mr President dated 26th of July 2021.
‘In the said letter you referred to a petition that had been sent to you by ASEPA which petition demanded the impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana following allegation that had been made against him.
“In line with the demands of the constitution as enshrined under Article 144(2), 122(3), and in line with the decisions of the Supreme Court , Mr President we are obliged to determine whether a prima facie case had been made which determination would therefore precede the process of impeachment.”
“Mr President the Council of State had made its findings and we are here to present to you the findings of the Council of state as to whether prima facie case had been made to warrant the start if impeachment process for the removal of the Chief Justice.”
In response, Mr Akufo-Addo said “The understanding of Article 146 (7)) which is binding on all of us myself included requires that I consult with you to make this determination of whether the petition that has been sent to me has raised some prima facie case warranting establishment of the committee, the preliminary step.
“I am grateful for the intervention that you have made. It is a pity that we don’t have the chance to have a general meeting before this specific matter.
“I understand that the process of the impeachment of the Chief Justice, indeed all justice of the Supreme Court, are meant to be incamera procedure so that the contents of the consultations between the two of us, your side is in the letter and my own is also there, will for the time being remain confidential until we are in the position to announce the result of it to the world.
“But I have to first thank you very much for the assiduous punctual manner to which you continue to carry out you functions as the council of state.
“There are a few people out there who made some misguided and unreflective comments the efficacy of your body, I for where I sit recognize fully the value of this institution and the work that you have bene doing for me and for the country both in my first term and in this term. So I will like to put that on record.”
The ASEPA had petitioned the president to invoke provisions of Article 146 to commence impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.
The bribery allegations were contained in a response of a lawyer, Akwasi Afrifa, in response to a petition filed against him by his client at the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council (GLC) that he may have been bribed to influence the outcome of a court case.
Although the Chief Justice has denied the accusation and asked the Police to probe the matter, ASEPA contends that the allegations have brought the name of the Judiciary into disrepute and cast a serious slur on justice administration in the country, hence the presidential petition.