THE confrontation that erupted last year between a Jehovah Witness couple, culminating in a divorce, has taken a bizarre twist.
This time, the daughter of the couple, Jorinda Mensah, has dragged the father to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service for withholding her educational certificate because she refused to relocate to his house.
It would be recall that in March last year, Mr. Lawrence Mensah, a banker, accused some elders of the Jehovah Witness sect of destabilizing his family through certain relationships with his wife and daughter.
The brouhaha later led to divorce with the wife leaving her matrimonial home with the daughter, whom the father wanted to return to the house immediately.
But since last year, Jorinda, who successfully passed her Science Laboratory Technician Part 1 Examination after a course at the Trans African College, Accra, had refused to return to her father, leading to the present impasse between father and daughter.
The problem that took Mr. Mensah to the police happened when he wrote to the Principal of the daughter's college that the girl's certificate should not be given to her until she relocated to his house.
Jorinda, who could not understand the actions of her father, on February 25 this year, dragged him to the DOVVSU so he would be compelled to withdraw his letter to the Principal.
While the case was at DOVVSU, Jorinda again sent the issue to the Legal Aid Board which invited Mr. Mensah on February 28, 2008 to come and defend a charge his daughter had preferred against him.
However, while the Board was yet to meet Mr. Mensah for the settlement of the matter, Jorinda, under the pen of Mr. Solomon Korley, her solicitor, wrote on a letterhead of the Legal Aid Board to the Principal of Trans African College that the parties involved in the issue had held a discussion and the agreement reached was that the Principal should release the certificate to her (Jorinda).
The Principal therefore released the certificate to Jorinda who acknowledged receipt on March 3, 2008.
This underhand maneuver infuriated Mr. Mensah so much that he had petitioned the Legal Aid Board through Mr. Korley, to explain how Mr. Korley could usurp his authority over his daughter.
In the petition copied to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the Director, Legal Aid, The Ghana Bar Association and his lawyer, Mr. Norbert Kudjawu, among others, Mr. Mensah challenged Mr. Korley to substantiate his assertion that both parties agreed for the release of the certificate to Jorinda, and asked him to name those parties who took that decision.
Mr. Mensah recounted the meeting Mr. W. K. Attipoe, Station Officer of DOVVSU had with himself and the daughter on February 25, 2008 where the daughter was advised to return to her father's house but she refused, and also a meeting he had with Mr. Korley where he made it plain that he would not cause the release of the certificate unless his daughter reported back home.
“I am therefore extremely surprised to be told that your (Korley's) outfit has written to Trans African College to release the certificate to Jorinda,” said Mr. Mensah.
In his petition, Mr. Mensah further asked whether the Legal Aid Board offices had now become a court room where frivolous orders were made without due recognition to the father as the head of family and upon what basis the said Mr. Korley took that singular action.
“I am demanding reasonable explanation and the return of the certificate or I will refer the matter to my solicitors,” so ended Mr. Mensah's petition.
By James S.A. Kwashie