Kwahu-Nkwatia Chief and Elders Found Guilty of Contempt, Ordered to Vacate Palace
The Chief of Kwahu-Nkwatia, Nana Boama Ayiripe II (Samuel Boamah Danso), and three elders have been found guilty of contempt of court by the Koforidua High Court in the Eastern Region of Ghana. As a result, they have been instructed to vacate the Nkwatia Palace within three days, by midnight on Monday, June 5, 2023. The Presiding Judge, Gifty Dekyem, has imposed a fine of GHS20,000 as part of the ruling.
This conviction follows a previous ruling by the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs in 2021, which deemed Samuel Boama Danso’s claim to be the chief of the town unlawful. The ruling also ordered the Registrar to seize all properties belonging to the Nkwatia stool. Despite the eviction order, Boama Danso had petitioned the National House of Chiefs to block the Regional Judicial Committee’s decision, temporarily preventing his removal from the palace.
However, the applicants contesting Boama Danso’s installation filed a motion at the Koforidua High Court, seeking to hold him and his elders in contempt for failing to comply with the eviction order. Justice Gifty Dekyem, in delivering the judgment, emphasized the importance of obeying court orders, stating that non-compliance amounts to contempt of court. She highlighted that challenging the order through proper legal channels would have been the appropriate course of action.
The judge further noted that the defendants’ disobedience and contempt could not be justified by claiming the order was erroneous, especially considering they had filed an appeal against the interim injunction. Their actions were seen as willful disobedience of the court order.
The longstanding chieftaincy dispute in Kwahu-Nkwatia has left the stool vacant for over five years following the passing of Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV in 2016, who had ruled for 60 years.