Kumasi High Court: Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III Losses Contempt Case, Fined Ghs5,000.00

Odeneho Kwafo Akoto IIIOdeneho Kwafo Akoto III

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The Yaa Ansaa Royal Family of Akwamu in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern region, is appealing to the government, institutions, public and private organizations, as well as all well-meaning Ghanaians, to desist from engaging one Kwabena Owiredu as Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III-Akwamumanhene.

According to the Royal Family, anyone who goes ahead to deal with the disputed chief, does so at their own risk, especially at a time the Kumasi High Court, has ruled in their favour that the said man is a mere “self-styled” chief.

The Family’s admonishment comes on the heels of a ruling by the Court presided over by (SGD) Francis Obiri, after an application for contempt against Secretary of the Family, Owusu Bruku, was dismissed by the Court.

The self-styled Omanhene, had filed an application in a SUIT NO C12/227/2019 under Section 36 (1) of the Court Act, 1993 (Act 459) on November 11, 2019 and prayed the Court to convict the respondent, Owusu Bruku, to prison for contempt of court for his conduct in casting aspersions on the judgment of the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs dated May 23, 2019.

The November 11, 2019 application was, however, dismissed on February 3, 2020 by the Court.

In his ruling, the judge, (SGD) Justice Francis Obiri, said, he could not grant the wish of the Applicant because he did not see how the Respondent’s request to know if Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III name, has been entered into the National Register of Chiefs as Omanhene of Akwamu Traditiinal Area, could amount to contempt.

“In my candid opinion, I do not see how such a question could meet any of the requirements which have been stated above to prove contempt of court. I do not think it prejudices the judgment of the National House of Chiefs in any way”, the judge’s ruling said.

The applicant then proceeded to the Kumasi High Court ‘4’ presided over by Justice C. A Wilson to file an ex-parte motion for contempt against the Respondent alleging that he was in contempt of Court.

However, the Court in it ruling on March 24, 2020, dismissed the ex-parte motion and awarded a sum of GHC5,000.00 (Five Thousand Ghana Cedis) judgment to the Respondent (Owusu Bruku).

Part of the ruling by Justice Wilson read, “As a general rule a party who is aggrieved by a decision of a Judicial or adjudicating body may challenge or appeal the decision to a higher court to have the decision reversed or vacated even if the applicant is to be affected by the decision he may equally appeal.

The alleged contemnor has sought to appeal the decision of the National House of Chiefs and, he cannot be debarred from doing so. The burden of proof necessary to sustain a charge of perjury is tremendously heavy and it is not met in this application.

The Respondent’s conduct therefore cannot form the basis to citation for contempt. The application is dismissed.

Cost of GHC5,000.00 (Five Thousand Ghana Cedis) was awarded in favour of the Respondent”, the Court ruled.

The Yaa Ansaa Royal Family Secretary, Owusu Bruku, had written to the National House of Chiefs, Kumasi, requesting for a search to ascertain if Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, “a self-styled” Omanhene of Akwamu, has been entered into the National House of Chiefs records as Omanhene of Akwamu Traditional Area.

The House in it response answered “No”.

The national House of Chiefs Registrar per it findings, also said Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, could not perform statutory functions as Omanhene.

The search request by the Family dated July 10, 2019, addressed to the Registrar, National House of Chiefs reads “Whether the name Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III a self-styled Omanhene of Akwamu has been entered into the National Register of Chiefs as Omanhene of Akwamu Traditional Area” with which the Registrar answered in the negative.

The Registrar indicated that, since the demise of Odeneho Kwafo Akoto II some 28 years ago, no name has been entered into the Register as the Akwamumanhene.

Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, however, saw the request of search to the House of Chiefs in Kumasi very offensive, especially the mention of him as a “self-styled” Omanhene by the Family’s Secretary, hence the two actions in court against the Family Secretary, which he the Applicant was ruled against by the two Courts.

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