An Accra High Court has dismissed an Application for Committal for Contempt brought against the Nungua Mantse, Nii Odai Ayiku V, by Nii Odaifio Welentsi over his position and for him holding himself in that capacity.
The ruling was delivered by Justice Ruby Aryeetey on March 17, 2022, in a Suit CC.NO. 0427/2021 between the Republic vrs. Nii Afotey Ahwhan II, Samuel Afotey Kwefio, Benjamin Nii Ashong Botcchway and Rev. Robert Nyansa. Ex-parte Oboade Notse King Prof. Odaifio Welentsi II and 4 others.
The Applicants in the Suit brought the case against the Respondents praying the Court to commit the Respondents for contempt for interfering in the administration of justice and bringing the system of administration of justice into disrepute.
According to the Applicants, the Respondents interfered in the funeral rites of Nii Boye Jonu II of Nungua (Nungua Mandzaasetse).
The Applicants also indicated that the Respondents wilfully made a publication indicating Nii Odai Ayiku V as the Nungua Mantse because they have over the years been relying on a judgement of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs in a Suit instuled Nii Odai Ayiku V v. Mr. Justice Laryeafio Afato and Another.
In Suit No. GARCH/AP2/2008, which judgement has been quashed in a suit instuled The Republic v. The Judicial Committee of GARHC in suit No. AP4/2009 since same has been quashed, the acts of the Respondents amount to Contempt.
Meanwhile, in the High Court ruling, the Court averred that the Applicants’ claims of a ruling prohibiting Nii Odai Ayiku V from purporting to exercise the functions of Nungua Mantse and accordingly prohibited any person from treating him as such as a chief has been in existence before the filing of this suit.
The Court noted that the evidence by the Applicants does not emanate from a court or tribunal with judicial or adjudicatory powers as mentioned in Article 126 of the 1992 Constitution and the Courts Act 2002, Act 620.
“Again, a reading of the judgement from which the Applicants claim that E.I 18 was confirmed did not make any orders which were enforceable. The judgement, Exhibit ‘M’ is a decision against the judgement of the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal had given its decision on an appeal from the High Court on a matter which dealt with a cause or matter affecting chieftaincy which the high Court did not have jurisdiction.”
The Court also mentioned that the Applicants have failed to proof beyond reasonable doubts that the acts of the Respondents amount to contempt of court.
In view of that, the court indicated that the Application must fall based on the law and the forgone discussion and the application for committal for contempt refused.
The High Court also awarded GHC10,000.00 cost against the Applicants in the case.