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11.04.2006 General News

Was Chief Justice Bribed With £100,000 ?

By Graphic
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Poku Transport's Widow Denies Allegations The widow of Mr Francis Kojo Poku, better known as Poku Transport, has refuted allegations in sections of the media that she bribed the Chief Justice (CJ), Mr Justice George Kingsley Acquah, with £100,000 (¢1.5 billion) to get favours in the legal battle over her late husband's estate.

According to her, she only petitioned the CJ to ensure justice and fair play, after realising that the courts in Kumasi were making some 'bizarre orders' against her.

Mrs Grace Tandoh Poku, the widow, described the allegation against her and the CJ as a wicked act designed to soil the hard-earned reputation of the Chief Justice, her late husband, as well as herself and her family.

Eighteen of the late business tycoon's children made the allegation and petitioned President J.A. Kufuor for the removal of the CJ.

They were challenging the validity of a will said to have been written by their father, with Dr Kwame Appiah Poku, a brother of the late businessman, as leader of the executors of the will.

Whereas the petitioners insist that the said will could not be the work of their father because he was blind at the time it was alleged to have been written, the executors insist that the deceased was not blind.

Mrs Poku said she made the petition to the CJ because members of the other party in the legal battle were allegedly colluding with court officials to deplete her late husband's estate.

In a press statement issued in Kumasi at the weekend, Mrs Poku said, “Neither myself nor any of my children has paid any money, either directly or indirectly, to the Chief Justice.

In fact, we don't even know him personally”.

She traced the history of the legal battle and explained that the executors filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal after a Kumasi High Court, presided over by Mrs Justice Agnes Dordzi, on October 19, 2004 upheld the claim by the other group that the will was invalid.

Mrs Poku said the conduct of the doctor who gave evidence in court that the late Poku was blind had been reported to the Ghana Medical and Dental Council.

She alleged that “the courts in Kumasi, upon application by the other faction, started making 'bizarre' orders, including an order barring me and my children from visiting the late Poku's tomb on the first anniversary of his death”.

According to Mrs Poku, following the constant harassment she and her children and other executors went through with regard to contempt proceedings allegedly engineered by the other faction, she decided to petition the CJ “to stem the ridiculous orders being made by the courts in Kumasi”.

She stated that the CJ upheld her petition and went ahead to instruct the courts in Kumasi to stop entertaining interim applications on the matter.

She indicated that the CJ also advised applicants to pursue interim applications in the courts in Accra and since then the rampant filing of interim applications had ceased.

Mrs Poku also denied the allegation that a secret court proceeding had been held over the case, explaining that “all sittings of the Court of Appeal have been in the open and were attended by litigating parties and their counsel”.