Ford Kamel’s Family Sets Record Straight
Family of the late Ford Kamel, former Volta Regional Minister, has in a rejoinder, reacted to publications in DAILY GUIDE, which intimated that the family of the late Minister had been interfering with his property, describing the publications as ‘misleading and calculated to demean and impugn the hard earned reputation of family members of the said deceased…’
Below is the full text of the rejoinder.
I refer to the above headings culled from the Tuesday November 5, 2013 and Saturday, February 22, 2014 editions of the DAILY GUIDE and wish to categorically state that the import of your publications with reference to family interference with the property of the deceased Henry
Ford Kamel (Kamel) are misleading and calculated to demean and impugn the hard earned reputation of family members of the said deceased, particularly those named in your publications. Indeed the effect of your publications has been to insult the integrity of named
family members, and we therefore wish to use this opportunity to clear the misconceptions communicated to your readers.
To begin with, the November 5, 2013 publication states that some family members have intensified plans to deny the widow and children of their rightful inheritance and that the widow and children have been maltreated by the family of the deceased. This is further repeated in your February 22, 2014 publication. From when the late Kamel was buried till the second publication, and to date, the widow and children are living in the Lashibi residence of Kamel; no family member has attempted to throw them out of it. Similarly, they have access to the home built by Kamel in Guaman just before he passed away and have not and never been prevented from gaining access to the said property. They continue to have access to the car (s) of the deceased and as at the time of the second
publication, had been paid the ex-gratia of the deceased by Parliament. Thus, a repeat of the information on February 24 about family interference was mischievous and calculated to embarrass the named family members.
Secondly, concerning the lineage of Kamel and the reasons for the family’s caveat of the Letters of Administration, Kamel rightly belonged to the Afunume Attah family who are part of the Badomia clan, all of Guaman in the Buem District. However, Abusuapanyin Obed K. Nyarko acting capriciously as head of clan, and without consulting or notifying the Afunume Attah family, sneaked out to Accra to sign an affidavit in support of the widow’s application for Letters of Administration. At a subsequent meeting of the clan, the Abusuapanyin admitted his guilt, apologized to the
family and clan and undertook to withdraw his support to the affidavit. Pitifully, he did not do that.
Thirdly, as per Order 66 Rule 4 of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules, notice of an application made for Letters of Administration shall be given to the Registrar of every Court with jurisdiction in the areas where the deceased had property. The late Kamel had properties in Accra and Guaman in the Volta Region but there is no evidence that such procedure was followed. Order 66 Rule 10 (1) (c) further provides that notice of the grant shall be made at the last known place of abode of the deceased in respect of the estate the grant has been made. The late Kamel was at his family home in Guaman when he was taken ill and called to glory. However, there is no evidence of such notice being made at that last place of abode where he was taken ill. Unlike the requirement for notice to all persons entitled to a share of the estate of the deceased under the Intestate Succession Law being dispensed with for expediency sake; that of notice in last place of abode has no such waiver. In spite of all these, the family’s caveat was dismissed.
Again, the family members are well aware of the provisions of the Intestate Succession Law, PNDCL 111, and know that the era of family members taking over properties of deceased persons are a thing of the past. Yet again, the presumption is that the interest of
the children is best served by their mother and eldest daughter who were named as those to whom the Letters of Administration will be awarded. However, it is worth noting that as per the law, there are other interested parties in the estate of Kamel, least of which is
the family who are well within their right as per PNDCL 111 and the High Court Civil Procedure rules to be part of those applying for Letters of Administration. Indeed, several individuals have approached the family and informed them of debts owed them by the
late Kamel. That is why the family felt it was necessary to have the “oyaayie,” who customarily was entrusted with the organization and administration of the funeral as the family representative, to have joined the applicants for the application of the Letters of Administration to ensure that such parties who had reported to the family, could be taken care of from the estate of the deceased.
Furthermore, we wish to state that your newspaper articles do not reflect the true state of affairs concerning the relationship between the family and the widow. As is traditionally the case for most ethnic groups (clans) and families, after the burial of a deceased, the family holds meetings to account for expenses made, donations received,
nomination of family members to serve in the role of the deceased for each surviving child and spouse, and nominating a family member as customary successor for the application of Letters of Administration, among others. Indeed, since the late Kamel was buried more than 12 months ago, the Badomia clan and Afunume Attah family have
invited the widow several times to attend such meetings held for the above-mentioned purposes to no avail. To date, the widow has failed to honor any such requests made by the family.
The effect of the widow’s refusal to attend any meetings held by the family is that for over twelve months since Kamel was buried – as is the practice for most ethnic groups and families – she has held the family and clan in utter contempt and has not been able to account to the family for donations made by sympathizers, in spite of the family being ready to account for monies they received immediately after the funeral was held. Indeed, contrary to arrangements and understandings by all during the planning of the funeral that donations be collected by nominated family members, the widow made contrary arrangements with other persons to have donations given by sympathizers collected.
We wish to conclude by stating the family and the clan, knowing their duty and respectful of the deceased, did not renege on their responsibility when the unfortunate demise of Kamel occurred.
They, together with the humble citizens of Guaman, worked assiduously with the government and all interested parties to give their son a befitting burial.
Thus, even though freedom of speech and the media is an integral part of our democracy, the media (your newspaper) is not at liberty to damage the reputation and image of individuals. We hereby state without mincing words that the Afunume Attah family has not by any direct or
indirect action or pronouncement, coveted the property of the late Kamel. Indeed, these are responsible and self-made individuals who have never stooped low as to deprive either the widow or children of their rightful properties and inheritance. They rather stood for procedures and processes to be followed. We hope that this will serve to clear the air, and that you will publish this communication in full in your paper and your website so that your readers can be better informed on the issues you published. We also wish to serve notice that such publications that hurt the reputations of self-respecting individuals of the Afunume Attah family will not be condoned without taking necessary steps to protect our dignity.
Thank you for giving us the chance to express our views on the issue in question.
Ernest Siaw Asare
On behalf of the family of the Late Henry Ford Kamel
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