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05.11.2007 General News

COURT STOPS INSTALLATION... But Was It Too Late?

By William Yaw Owusu - newtimesonline.com

AN Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday restrained kingmakers of the Anlo Traditional Council from going ahead with the planned installation of an Awoamefia for Anlo, in the Volta Region, although an unconfirmed report said the installation had already taken place.

The court said: 'It is hereby ordered that the kingmakers, the Anlo Traditional Council and any other persons or institutions involved in the preparation and installation of the Awoamefia of Anlo be and hereby restrained forthwith from holding any event to install the person named Francis Nyonyo Agboada, also known as Regent Torgbui Sri III, as the Awoamefia scheduled for Saturday, November 3, 2007.'

The court was presided over by Justice Samuel Marful-Sau of the Court of Appeal.

The court said that due to the urgency and volatility of the situation, 'the service of this order be effected by substitution through the electronic and print media'.

The ex-parte application was filed by the Inspector General of Police Mr Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong who was represented in court by Justin Pwavra, Deputy Superintendent of Police of the Legal Directorate of the Police Service, while the motion was moved by the Attorney-General, Mr. Joe Ghartey and supported by Ms Getrude Aikins, acting Director of Public Prosecutions. Moving the order for interim injunction, Mr. Ghartey told the court that they were invoking the court’s powers through Section 1 of the Public Order Act 1994 (Act 491) because the planned ceremony was creating uneasy tension in the area.

He said although the organisers of the planned installation were armed with permit, violence broke out resulting in the deaths of six people including a police constable.

'Unfolding events show that violence is occurring. Tension is still very high and it is clear that there will be more confusion and bloodshed unless they are restrained from going ahead with the installation ceremony.'

The Attorney-General further told the court that since yesterday the IGP has withdrawn the permission granted the organisers but they insisted on going ahead with the ceremony.

'Information gathered is that the rituals for the installation is ongoing and it will be too late if the court waited for 48 hours for its order to take effect.

'Because of the volatile nature of the situation the parties cannot be served immediately or directly so we are praying the court to issue an order for substituted service'.

The court ruled that the injunction order stay until further notice.

However, speaking to the Times, Napoleon Agboada, spokesperson for the kingmakers, said the court injunction was of no effect, because Mr. Nyonyo Agboada had already been installed as Awoamefia.

'We now have a new Awoamefia so the injunction has no effect.'

In a telephone interview, Mr. Agboada said the final installation rites were performed yesterday morning.

He, however, added that due to the volatile situation in the area, the Hogbetsotso festival which should have been held today has been postponed.

Mr. Agoada said the coronation of the Awoamefia will be held in March next year.

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