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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Columnist: Afriyie, Bright Siaw

Why Unlawful Arrest In Accra International Airport?

To begin with I will like to thank Ghanaweb for allowing me use this media to express my views on unlawful dealings currently going on in Ghana.

A young man by the name of Eric Owusu Siaw who’s a younger brother was arrested and detained in police cells at Accra airport while leaving the country for Canada on January 14, 2010, for a simple reason that he refused to honor a picture marriage with Mr. Richard Ahadjie’s daughter, in Accra, Ghana.

This arrest leaves a whole lot of questions unanswered, but before digging into the facts surrounding this arrest let me ask the general public in this forum the following questions?

1. Is Ghana a lawless country in the face of democratic government? 2. If such arrest is condoned in Ghana then where do we stand in fundamental human right which is being advocated in present day democracy?

The Facts about the Case

Elder Richard Ahadjie has defiled Godly trust of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). Elder Richard Ahadjie, 3rd Quorum of the Seventy’s and his family had pressed false charges to a magistrate court against a young man Eric Owusu Siaw, who is also member of LDS in Brampton Ward, Toronto, Canada who refused to honor a marriage to his daughter Georgina Ahadjie.

1. The false charge was that after having refused marriage to Elder Ahadjie’s daughter, Eric was accused of running away from Ghana.

2. And that Mr. Ahadjie used his position in the LDS Church in Ghana to manipulate the court to obtain unlawful arrest warrant that was imposed on Eric. Mr. Ahadjie and wife also improperly used their position as the representative of the Church of LDS in Ghana to intimidate another church member.

3. Eric was arrested by Ghanaian immigration and was detained in police cells while leaving the country Ghana on January 14, 2010, all due to false charges Mr. Ahadjie pressed to the court against Eric.

4. Georgina Ahadjie’s biological mother who is divorced by Elder Ahadjie heard about the case and sought that it would be settled amicably, in a Christian way, I heard that Mr. Elder Ahadjie refused.

5. How come Elder Ahadjie’s wife calling the Ghanaian immigration office at Accra airport and requesting that they maintain an innocent man’s name (Eric) on barring list even though the warrant had been removed at court, and the immigration obeying this woman’s instructions. What connections does she have with the immigration? This should be investigated.

They lied to the court and the court should have investigated before issue arrest warrant, and these are my reasons:

1. Eric booked his flight to arrive in Ghana on December 11, 2009 burry his older brother on Dec 12, 2009 and leave Ghana on January 14, 2010. This was communicated to the young woman, Georgina Ahadjie and her family prior to Eric’s arrival in Accra. On his arrival also Eric communicated his departure time to the family when they were fixing the wedding date.

2. The young woman, Georgina Ahadjie knew where she was living in Accra. In fact she came there to visit Eric’s nephew when Eric was not there. She knew where Eric sometimes lives with his cousin, at Taiffa, Accra. In addition Eric also directed her to his small town, Atobiase, where his relatives are currently living. The court bailiffs could have served him at any of the three places, if they needed to.

3. The dresses his father brought to the courts were woman’s wears Eric voluntarily gave to the young woman since he was not ready to continue with the marriage.

4. Eric has not entered into any marriage contract with Georgina Ahadjie to warrant the claim of 45 million lawsuit as was read from the court docket.

Background of the case

A young man, Eric Owusu Siaw a church member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints(LDS) in Brampton Ward, Toronto, Canada wanted to marry. And a church sister by the name of Beatrice Amartey proposed to him a picture of a young woman, Georgina Ahadjie, elder Richard Ahadjie’s daughter who is currently living in Ghana. And without delay communications began in Accra, Ghana. The parents agreed but on condition that they see Eric in person Accra in Accra, Ghana, before they would approve the marriage and when everything go well then a church marriage would be conducted on 19th December, 2009.

Mystery Surrounding the Marriage That Caused Eric to Abort the Marriage

When Eric told me about this picture marriage, as older brother, I cautioned him and preferred that they should allow themselves some time for dating to better know her before proposing marriage, since phone conversation was not enough. I also asked him to pray about it and below are some of the signs he received:

First of all in preparation for the wedding r Eric decided to buy a special camera for his wedding. On his way to the electronic store to buy the camera Eric had a very serious accident which paralyzed him for over two months.

Secondly, he delegated one Dr. Oppong, a medical practitioner in Accra to perform preliminary marriage customary rites termed in Akan language as “Behume or Kokooko”, prior to his arrival in Accra. This Medical Doctor sudden death occurred two days prior to the date that was fixed to perform the preliminary marriage rites.

On the third account, in spite of Dr. Oppong’s death, Eric delegated his own second older brother in Ghana to go ahead and perform the preliminary marriage customary rites for the second time. But his second older brother also died on November 4, 2009, during this second attempt.

Fourthly, Eric still having patience in pursuance of his dream bride, he bought items such as woman dresses and other wedding stuffs and made an extra luggage on his flight on board on KLM from Toronto to Accra. But these items with this luggage got missing on arriving in Accra. However, Eric happened to keep some stuffs in his personal luggage which he gave to the young woman as a gift.

For the fifth time, the marriage that was supposed to have taken place in a LDS church, in Accra, due to time constraint, was scheduled for 19th December, 2009, a week after the burial of Eric’s own second older brother. Here again, another disappointing news came across the board that the church was also mourning the death of church member and the body of the dead would be brought into the church for funeral on the very same day of the wedding. So the wedding date was postponed to undisclosed future date.

To crown it all, on Eric’s arrival in Accra, he paid unofficial visit to his future bride (the young woman) and his future in-laws, the Ahadjie family. Here the to-be father-in-law Mr. Ahadjie insisted and happened to impose on brother Eric to find a way to take his daughter with him to Canada as soon as they marry. Also earlier on they have been insisting that Eric should find a school admission for their daughter in Canada. This made Eric think that the motive behind this marriage was only to gain access to Canada.

Pondering over all the above occurrences, there was clear indication of divine warning from God to Brother Eric not to enter into such marriage covenant with this young woman. Since, as Christian he was bound to seek guidance from God and the responses were the signs mentioned above. Hence Eric called the young woman, his proposed bride to discontinue with the marriage. I bear witness of this fact, since being the only older brother of Eric, the young woman called me in USA to complain about what Eric had said to her.

Why Eric Was Arrested At The Accra Airport. According to the Chief Inspector of Police at the Airport Police Station, the young woman with her father and step-mother went to court and pressed charges against Eric, that he has deceived them for not marrying to their daughter and due to the deception Eric was running away to Canada. And that the marriage was already on church records in the USA. So they requested an arrest warrant be issued on Eric. The father Elder Ahadjie, added a long letter and packed all the gift of woman wears that Eric voluntarily gave to his daughter as evidence of deception.

The court judge being pushed overreacted and went beyond bounds of his rights and also since the young woman’s step-mother’s pushing the case happened to be a relative of a police IGP in Accra.

From the above background of the case, I have a few questions to ask authorities of the country:

1. If one receives a picture of a woman and planned to marry her, and on physically seeing her in person, he decides not to go ahead with the marriage, is it sufficient enough to cause an arrest to innocent man and detained him in police cells?

2. What kind of court warrant would be issued on situations like refusing to marry someone – and turning into deception and fraud charges without priory summoning the accused to court for verification?

3. Is there any racial cards or sentiments being played here – the simple fact that the parents of the woman are Ewes and the man is Ashanti is sufficient enough to throw the man in police cells because NDC is in power or because the step mother of the woman has a relative who is IGP of police, in Accra so he has the power to throw anybody to cells as he/she may wish?

4. Is it lawful for anybody to come to court to press civil charges against someone, without prior court sitting, but succeed in obtaining instant arrest warrant against the other party?

5. Is it lawful to be arrested on court warrant before the bailiff serves a court summons to the accused person while in the police cells?

6. Is that lawful for the magistrate judge misinterpreting the law of the land, and issuing a bench or arrest warrant without prior hearing the case in court? Does it imply that in Ghana it is a matter of knowing a judge and pressing charges against any innocent person, it would be sufficient evidence to issue an arrest warrant against the person?

7. How come that in a civil suit the court warrant was removed from the accused person, and the Ghana immigration is still restricting the persons movement, after signing a power of attorney for a representation? Here Ghana immigration retaining the person’s passport and barring him from leaving the country, simply because the person has a court case?

8. How come Elder Ahadjie’s wife calling the Ghanaian immigration office at Accra airport and requesting that they maintain an innocent man’s name (Eric) on barring list even though the warrant had been removed at court, and the immigration obeying this woman’s instructions. What connections does she have with the immigration? This should be investigated.

9. I need somebody from the NDC Government to come out with some meaningful explanations to the above questions.

10. It is about the time that BNI should have opened eyes over the laws of the land, and put justice in place before the public.

I am pleading with the nation’s law makers, judiciary, BNI to take action against this judge and the entire Ahadje family behind this unlawful arrest.

I am again pleading with the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to take action against Elder Richard Ahadjie a member of third quorum of 70’s in West Africa and representative of the Church for defiling the Godly trust of the Church. By virtue of his position in the Church, Elder Ahadjie should have known better way of resolving such issue.

Nana Taaka II, Chief of Adanse-Atobiase (Bright Siaw Afriyie, IT Professional)