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04.08.2003 General News

Lawyer urges Chief Justice to investigate bribery attempts

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Cape Coast, Aug 4, GNA - Mr Ebo Barton-Oduro, a legal practitioner at Cape Coast, on Monday, called on the Chief Justice to investigate a claim by Mr Justice Kwadwo Kwei Acquaye, a High Court Judge, that a faction in the Mankessim chieftaincy dispute had sent down people to influence him in a case involving the out-dooring of a new Omanhene for the traditional area.

Mr Barton-Oduro said at a press conference that Mr Justice Acquaye had said in open court on July 30 that one of those sent included a retired employee of GHACEM and that he turned them down. He said Mr Justice Acquaye was to deliver his ruling in a case titled, "the District Police Commander- Saltpond Vrs the Mankessim State Council and 7 others."

The Saltpond District Police Commander had in December last year filed an ex-parte motion under the Public Order Act for an interim injunction to stop the out-dooring of a "would-be Omanhene" on the grounds that it would lead to violence and endanger public peace. On July 30, whilst awaiting the ruling on the case, Mr Justice Acquaye said he received a copy of a petition the faction had sent to the Chief Justice, accusing him of being biased.

The petition, dated June 6 and signed by Nana Ama Amissah III, the Queen Mother of Mankessim Traditional Area, pleaded with the Chief Justice to transfer the case to another court. Mr Barton-Oduro said Mr Justice Acquaye told the court that the faction accusing him of being bias had tried to influence him through some people.

Mr Barton-Oduro stressed that investigation into the judge's claim was imperative, especially in the light of the Chief Justice's determination to stamp out corruption from the judiciary. When contacted Mr Justice Acquaye confirmed that some people tried to influence him and that as a result of the petition he had adjourned the case sine die to "await directives and instructions from his Lordship the Chief Justice."

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