General News of Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Source: Graphic Online
The body of the late Togbega Kwadwo Dei IX, the Paramount Chief of the Peki Traditional Area, has been kept at the Peki Government Hospital mortuary for the past six years following a feud between the Peki Traditional Council and the three Royal families of Peki.
These are the Nyangamangu, the Amega Kofi and the Tutu Brempong families. The latest twist to the issue is that the Dihyefia of Peki (Head of Royals) and Head of the Nyangamangu Family, Togbe Kantamanto C.C. Fitih, has, through his lawyer, written a letter to the Office of the President and ministries, as well as institutions, notifying them that the burial of the late chief cannot take place because the rightful procedure in matters of such nature has not been followed.
Togbe Fitih is appealing to the authorities to stop unauthorised persons from removing the corpse of the late Togbega from the Peki Government Hospital.
A letter written by Mr B.B. Bakattah, counsel for Togbe Fitih, indicated that his client was installed by Togbega Dei as the Regent of Peki at a public ceremony at Peki Blengo on April 18, 2009 when Togbega Dei’s health was failing.
“My instructions are that during the lifetime of Togbega, he honoured our client with the title “Kantamanto”. This honour was acclaimed on the floor of the Parliament of the Third Republic of Ghana when my client was the Leader of the Majority,” it said.
It said Togbega Dei later made it abundantly clear to his immediate family and the Royal Family that Togbe Fitih should be in charge of all his affairs.
Therefore, on the demise of Togbega Dei in May 2009, his family informed Togbe Fitih and called on him to take the body and deposit same at the mortuary.
The letter, dated January 23, 2015 and addressed to the Office of the President and 10 other institutions and ministries, alleged that some persons who had in the past attempted to destool Togbe Dei had constituted themselves into a funeral and burial committee to organise the burial and funeral of the late Togbe Dei.
It said the committee had refused to recognise Togbe Fitih as the Regent and the rightful person to bury the late king as tradition demanded.
It further alleged that the committee had ignored the advice of the Volta Regional Security Council which urged the parties to resolve their differences before the funeral was performed.
The letter further indicated that “persons who are nowhere near the paramountcy have assumed positions as the representatives of the Royal Family just to cause confusion”.
“My client says he has been reliably informed that the so-called burial committee has contacted the Director of Health in Ho, who in turn has directed the authorities of the Peki Government Hospital mortuary to permit members of the burial committee to inspect the corpse and finally release same to them.
“It is our client’s contention that it would be against the ethics of medical practice and the tradition of the people of Peki to allow any person to inspect the body of the late paramount chief or take the corpse away without the consent of our client who deposited it there.
“The vitor (father) and vinor (mother) and the Asafoatse of Peki Blengo are all aggrieved by the step the Director of Health has taken,” it said.
The letter warned that the peace in Peki would be disturbed if the funeral committee went ahead with its intention of organising a funeral slated to begin from February 20 to 28, 2015.
Under the circumstances, the Dihyefia, vitor and vinor are asking the Director of Health in Ho not to do anything that would add to the confusion currently raging.
“I, therefore, hold my client’s instructions to advise you to order stoppage to the intended inspection and release of the body to the burial committee,” it said.
It also stated that the regent was bent on ensuring that the traditional norms of the people of Peki were followed to the letter and explained that “the corpse belongs to the Royal Family and no person can assume the said right to bury the paramount chief if he is not from the Royal Family”.
In addition, the letter said, all the Asafo groups of the paramountcy had vowed not to permit anybody apart from the rightful persons to send Togbega to his home.
It said the situation in Peki was volatile and not far from causing confusion if the funeral was held.
It said Togbe Fitih was a law-abiding citizen and had, accordingly, urged the Minister of Health to advise the Director of Health, Ho, and the medical officer in charge of the Peki Government Hospital “not to grant permission to the so-called burial committee to carry out their intended inspection and recovery of the body”.