General News of Monday, 28 October 2013
Source: Daily Guide
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has finally broken her silence over last week’s saga regarding the custody of a child of a mentally challenged woman.
While denying that she insulted the two ladies in whose custody the child was when they appeared in her office, Nana Oye stated in a press release that the regulation governing fostering and adoptions was breached by officials of the Department of Social Welfare when they handed over the 18-month-old baby to them.
“Contrary to statements and publications, respect was accorded the two young women at all times. At no point in time were they insulted, “she said, adding that she did not threaten to jail her Deputy, Rachel Appoh, Director of Social Welfare, Christian Babooroh or the two women who made the report.
Nana Oye, wife of President John Mahama’s lawyer for the 2012 election petition Tony Lithur, maintained studied silence since the story of her highhandedness at her ministry was carried by Daily Guide last week until she belatedly issued a statement yesterday.
Her action in ordering a reversal of the decision of the Department of Social Welfare was in conformity with the law, regulations and due process, she claimed.
When the infant was taken away from her mother on 2nd October 2013 by Shirley Ablakwa and Jennifer Ofori, she recalled, “they were given custody and care of the infant without regard to the law, regulations and due process”, adding that “a directive was issued to the Department of Social Welfare to have the infant removed from the two women and taken to the Osu Children’s Home.”
She pointed at other anomalies such as taking the mentally challenged mother to the Osu Children’s Home.
There was also no Police Brief Enquiry Report before custody was given to the two young women, as according to her, “this would have established the circumstances surrounding the rescue of the child.
Three weeks after the rescue, the Report had not been issued, sought or obtained.”
Continuing, she stated that there was no police extract to enable the child to have medical attention or examination.
The relatives of the natural mother had not been identified; and neither had the physical location of the two young women been ascertained nor verified, the minister pointed out.
The Gender Minister attracted widespread flak after she allegedly insulted the two Good Samaritans who rescued the child from her depressed mother and took her to the Osu Children’s Home which refused to take her in.
The two ladies were said to have been given temporary custody of the child by the Department Of Social Welfare, a custody which the Gender minister described as a breach and therefore ordered a reversal.