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Regional News of Saturday, 1 March 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Dormaahene presides over High Court

The Dormaahene, Osaagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyeman Badu II, who allegedly banished the General Manager of the Presbyterian Hospital in Dormaa Ahenkro is a judge of the High Court. Known in private life as Mr Justice Daniel Mensah, the traditional ruler in the Brong Ahafo Region also presides over legal matters in a Fast Track High Court in Accra. Thus, he is believed to have a better understanding of human rights issues and the need to uphold them.

The 1992 Constitution, among other things, mandates the High Court to “enforce the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms guaranteed by this Constitution.”

However, the traditional ruler removed his legal cloak and used the aged-old custom to allegedly order the general manager of the hospital to leave the boundaries of the traditional area.

This is the second time this year that a traditional ruler has banished a resident of his area.

Last week, the Paramount Chief of the Wungu Traditional Area, Wungu Naba Alhaji Saaka Sulemana, was reported to have banished Fuseini Bawa and his entire household of 23 from their residence at Kukuazugu, a suburb of Walewale in the West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region.

That was over an alleged misunderstanding concerning the sharing of cattle between Bawa and another person.

In 2012, the Okyeman Traditional Council banished three persons for allegedly accusing the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, of engaging in illegal mining activities in the area.

The three are Odehye Nana Kwame Adjei Boateng, Elvia Boakye Yiadom and Akwasi Amofa.

In the same year, a 34-year-old married woman, Anastasia Adom, a trader, was allegedly banished from Likpe Abrani in the Volta Region for accusing the chief of the area, Nana Borkeh Akototsey V, of licking her vagina, a charge he denied.

The Daily Graphic of February 25, 2014 reported that the Dormaahene allegedly issued the order because the manager, Mr Effah-Yeboah, disobeyed his orders.

When contacted on phone, the Dormaahene declined to speak on the matter, explaining that he would comment on it at the appropriate time.

The Dormaa Police Commander, DSP Mahmoud Yusif, who confirmed the threat on Mr Effah-Yeboah’s life, said the police had advised the manager to leave the town for his safety while efforts were being made to resolve the issue.

The Dormaa polices' advice to Mr Effah-Yeboah came after he had lodged a complaint about the threat issued by the Omanhene.

The Dormaahene is said to have given the order to Mr Effah-Yeboah to leave the town by Monday, February 24, 2014 at his palace when he sat in state between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday, February 17, 2014.

He is also said to have dissolved the Area Board of the Presbyterian Health Service in the Brong-Ahafo region on the basis that he, as the Paramount Chief, ought to be the automatic chairman of that board.

He further directed that the Aduanahene of the Dormaa Traditional Area, Barima Yeboah Kodie II, should henceforth be the Chairman of the Area Board in his stead.

According to a source at the hospital, the anger of the traditional authorities might have stemmed from the decision by the Presbyterian Hospital to construct a new mortuary instead of relying on the services of a mortuary which was built by the traditional authorities 10 years ago.

It said by arrangement, the mortuary built by the traditional authorities was supposed to give part of its revenue to the hospital.

Unfortunately, after the arrangement had been respected for some time, the managers of the mortuary discontinued the periodic payment of revenue to the hospital.

Following the completion of the hospital’s mortuary in December 2013, the people of Dormaa and other communities began patronising the services of the new mortuary instead of the old one.

The situation seemed not to have gone down well with the managers of the old mortuary, who perceived the decision of the hospital to build a new mortuary without authorisation from the traditional establishment as a sign of disrespect to the traditional authorities

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