Minister Cited For Contempt

 Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini, has been cited for contempt of court in the ongoing chieftaincy dispute in Bimbila.

Also cited in the suit are the Nanumba North District Chief Executive (DCE), Alhaji Mohammed Ibn Abass, five chiefs and a regent who were all allegedly enskinned by a kingmaker called Azumah Nantogmah, who is also cited.

Alhaji Wumbei Abudu, Adam Natogmah, Abukari Ziblim, Adam Musah and Fuseini Abdulai, were purportedly enskinned to occupy Gbungbaliga, Sakpe, Nasamba, Boggu and Bakpaba respectively, while Yakubu Andani Dasana was also enskinned as Regent following the death of his late father, Andani Dasana – all by the same kingmaker, according to information.

The contempt application had been filed by the Jou Regent, Osman Mahama and another and they are all due to appear before a Tamale high court on May 26, 2016.

According to the applicants, Azumah Nantogmah and Yakubu Andani Dasana are the 1st and 2nd respondents.

The applicants claim that the Bimbilla paramount skin affair was determined by the judicial committee of the Northern Region House of Chiefs in 2013 to favour the late Andani Dasana, but an appeal was filed at the National House of Chiefs and a stay of execution enforced per Section 34 of the chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759).

According to the applicants, a letter of March 10, 2014, copied to key institutions including the National House of Chiefs, reminded the Northern Region House of Chiefs, the Northern Regional Minister, the Northern Regional Police Command, among others, that per the Act, the Bimbilla paramount skin was vacant until the judicial committee of the National House of Chiefs decided otherwise.

However, just before the adjudication process started in 2014, 1st Appellant – Naa Salifu Dawuni – passed on and till date  his mortal remains are yet to be released for burial since their seizure by the government in March last year, the applicants claim.

‘Until his death on June 19, 2014, the late Andani Dasana allegedly had the buy-in of some government officials to refuse the late Naa Salifu, his fundamental human right to dignity by resisting (using violence) the rather legitimate decision to bury him in his personal house in Bimbilla,’ they claim further.

The applicants said Andani Dasana, who died about four months later was on June 26, 2014 given a state burial amid public pronouncement of him as overlord of Nanung by some government officials adding, ‘consequently, his first male born was purportedly enskinned as Nyelinboligu Naa as a condition precedence for his installation as a Regent as though Late Andani Dasana died as a Bimbila Naa.’

Meanwhile, both contenders – now deceased – had long been substituted by their respective blood relations in accordance with the law to continue with the case until its determination on 8 October, 2014 and beyond.

According to the applicants, the appellants had filed a motion on notice for leave on October 20, 2014 to appeal against the judgment under Act 759 and it was granted February 26, 2015 saying, ‘in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Ghana, appeals operate as stay of execution in chieftaincy matters.’

‘Unfortunately, the Respondents have in gross violation of this legal provision, proceeded to enskin quite a reasonable number of chiefs in the area merely on the strength of the last year, October judgment of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi. These actions are not only pre-judicial but also a recipe for chaos, especially if left un-managed,’ plaintiffs claim.

By William Yaw Owusu

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