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19.01.2009 Religion

Court to determine body to organise Hajj

By gna
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The question of who should organise Hajj in the country was revisited on Monday

when an Accra Fast Track High Court convened to
hear the case.
Mr. Bright Akwetey, who represented the National Hajj Council, told the court that, he wanted it to determine which body was responsible for organising Hajj in the country.

He said, although Interim Hajj Management Committee (IHMC) and the National Hajj Council opted to settle the matter in relation to an injunction on the 2008 Hajj, there were some aspects of the case that needed to be ironed out.

“Certain aspects of the case need to be ironed out. We want to find out if it is the Office of the Vice President or the National Hajj Council,” Mr Akwetey said.

According to him he would prefer that the court could come out clearly on who organises the Hajj.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice K.A. Ofori-Atta therefore ordered Mr. Akwetey to file the necessary documents to that effect.

Alhaji Ishaq Alhassan represented the defendants, IHMC.

On November 3, 2008, Alhaji Asoma Banda, a Muslim elder and a businessman, intervened in the tussle between the National Hajj Council (NHC) and four members of the Interim Hajj Management Committee (IHMC).

Alhaji Banda later informed the court on the issue had been settled.

The court therefore requested parties to furnish it with the terms of settlement.

The Interim National Hajj Management Committee organised last year's Muslim pilgrimage to the Holy land.

NHC had gone to court to restrain IHMC from handling this year's Hajj and to seek the court's view on who had the right to handle this year's Hajj operations.

The IHMC members are Alhaji Lumuna Mohamed Muniru (Chairman), Dr. Alhaji Abdul-Wahab Alhassan, Sheikh Yunus Osman Mohammed and Alhaji Osman Kadri English.

The NHC established by law since 2005 has been mandated by the Muslim Community to operate, manage and control the annual pilgrimage of Ghanaian Muslims to Mecca (Hajj).

This was because the Hajj was bedevilled with problems such as loss of baggage, pilgrims not getting to Mecca on time, overcrowding, lack of decent accommodation and suffering of fatalities by pilgrims.

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