The Council of State has submitted its findings on a petition for the removal of Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah to President Akufo-Addo.
This follows a petition submitted by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) to the President, asking for the removal of the Chief Justice for allegedly collecting a $5 million bribe as suggested by Kumasi based legal practitioner, Akwasi Afrifa.
Not even a denial by Justice Anin Yeboah and his subsequent referral of the case to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) police would suffice.
The President thus had no option but to refer the matter to the Council of State as stipulated by law to ascertain whether or not there is a prima facie case against the Chief Justice to warrant a further investigation or his removal.
“I know that in your midst are formidable jurists so the necessary guidance that the rest of you the lay men in the Council of State had including the Archbishop and the others, that guidance had been well given,” President Akufo-Addo said at a meeting with the Council.
Chairman of the Council, Nana Otuo Serebour II who presented the findings on behalf of his colleagues said in line with the demands of the Constitution as enshrined in Article 146,123 and in line with the decisions of the Supreme Court, the Council was obliged to determine whether a prima facie case had been made which determination would therefore precede the process of impeachment.
He said they had looked at the petition sent to them by President Akufo-Addo together with the annexes as well as the document that was presented together with the petition, and also the principles of the case as stated in the case of Adjei Twum versus the Republic judgment of the Supreme Court given by Justice Date Bah.
“Mr President, the Council of State has made its findings and we are here to present to you the findings of the Council of State as to whether a prima facie case had been made to warrant the start of an impeachment process for the removal of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana,” he said
President Akufo-Addo expressed gratitude to the Council for the intervention they had made and gave the assurance that he would have a close look because his understanding is that Adjei Twum and another versus the Attorney General which was the case law that had been the understanding of article 146 binding all of the country, required that he consults with the Council to make the determination of whether the petition that had been sent to him had raised some prima facie case warranting the establishment of a committee as preliminary step.
“I understand that the process of the impeachment of the Chief Justices are meant to be in- camera proceedings so that the contents of the consultations between the two of us, your side in the letter and mine will for the time being remain confidential until we are in the position to announce the results of it to the world,” President Akufo-Addo explained.
He thanked the body for the assiduous and punctual manner in whichh they carried out their functions saying “there are a few people out there who have made some misguided and unreflecting comments on the standing and the efficacy of your body but from where I sit, I recognise fully the value of this institution and the work that you have been doing for me and for the country both in the first term and in this term so I would like to put that on record.”
He therefore promised to appraise the Council of his own findings on the matter and express hope that there would be a meeting of minds to establish unanimity on the matter.