Tradition vs Democracy Supreme Court orders chiefs to face contempt charges

President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi and another chief filed the case to nullify a contempt application before the Sefwi Wiawso High Court, but it was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

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An appeal filed by the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi to nullify a contempt application before the Sefwi Wiawso High Court was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

According to the GNA, Ogyeahoho, together with Charles K. Frimpong, Nana Anarfi Ababio of Bibiani are in the court seeking it to declare null and void a contempt application against them for flouting the orders of the court.

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The five-member panel of the Court unanimously ruled that the application is dismissed saying the ruling of the High Court and the Appeals Court has been upheld.

Reading the judgment, Justice Gabriel Pwamang said the plaintiffs have indirectly flauted the orders of the Court by not appearing before it to subject themselves to the contempt charges levelled against them.

The court then ordered the plaintiffs to file their written submissions before the Sefwi Wiawso High Court within two weeks to face the contempt charge.

The Court also awarded a cost of GH¢50,000.00 each to the plaintiffs.

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It would be recalled that in 1997, four king makers of the Western Region filed a case at the Traditional Council to destool the Chief of Bibiani, Nana Ngoa Anyima Kodom II. The traditional council ruled in their favour on September 9, 1999.

The Chief of Bibiani later appealed to the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Sekondi, where the Tribunal set aside the judgment of the Traditional Council, saying they considered the trial to be fraught with inconsistencies that it could not stand as a decision worthy of acceptance.

The tribunal therefore ordered for a re-trial, for the plaintiffs to commence a fresh action for destoolment in accordance with normal legal and customary requirements with an entirely new panel. They were also supposed to move to a neutral town preferably Bibiani for hearing.

However, not satisfied with the ruling, the plaintiffs appealed to the Sefwi Wiawso High Court, where their application was dismissed, but they disregarded the ruling of the court and went ahead to enstool Charles K. Frimpong, as the new chief of Bibiani.

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The Chief of Bibiani, Nana Ngoa Anyima Kodom II cited them for contempt, but in response the plaintiffs filed a motion indicating that the issue was a chieftaincy matter, so the contempt application be set aside.

The plaintiff’s application was again dismissed. They filed another motion at the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast and lost, and were in the Supreme Court seeking for the contempt charges against them to be set aside.

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