Please, do not get me wrong, nor impute any wrong doing on my part. I am not a lawyer and I do not profess to be one. But injustice upsets me. I've been fighting it right from when I came of age. The 'thing' is in my blood. So you just cannot take it away from me. I cannot remain unconcerned and watch another person trample on the rights of others. I will simply step in. People, at times refer to me as a rebel. But if I am, then it is equally true that I am a rebel with a just cause.
Over the years, people have gravitated towards me with one problem or the other. Some have bordered on financial assistance and I have tried to assist in various ways as my resources would permit. But now, with depleted resources I have harped on the idea of putting such cases at the public domain through my write-ups to see what assistance the public could give. After all, a problem solved is a problem given.
Today, I have chosen to be the 'Advocate' of one lady in distress. Felicia Yemoh is her name. Her marriage to one, Mr. Vanderpuye Mannison of House Number J130/7, South Nkpor, Nungua was solemnized on 24th March, 1999 and dissolved formally by the Court on 30th January, 2004. It is blessed with three children – all boys.
On 30th November, 2002, according to Felicia, she and her children were driven out of the house by her husband. But the husband also alleged that the wife went away with his items, which include 28 jewels belonging to his late mother, three big food warmers, Latex foam student mattress, a kitchen blender, a rice cooker, a large bed-room ward-robe, a two inch Trident Radio/Cassette Player and other items. I sighted an affidavit in support of his application dated 10th August, 2005. He also stated in the same affidavit that his estranged wife stole his Six Million, Six Hundred and Eighty Thousand Cedis, the equivalent of GHC680.00.
The case was taken to the then WAJU. Before then the man on his own had started paying Two Hundred Thousand (GHC20.00) per month as maintenance allowance for the three children. This amount was reviewed upwards to C500,000 (GHC50.00) per month by an Accra High Court, presided over by her Lordship, Mrs. Agnes Dadzie on 6th June, 2003. He stopped payment of the children's school fees in June, 2002. He paid the fees for last term but is yet to do so this Second Term.
An Accra High Court presided over by Her Lordship, Mrs. Cecilia Hanzy Sowah ordered Mr. Vanderpuye Mannison to pay up the outstanding balance of C1,500,000.00 (GHC150.00) by the 31st December, 2003..
The refusal of Mr. Vanderpuye Mannison to pay the maintenance allowance of his children led to a Writ of Fi:fa ordering him to appear in court to show cause why he should not be committed to prison. The court gave judgement for his vehicle GT4397, a BMW Saloon Car to be auctioned and the proceeds from the sale be deposited in court. The vehicle was subsequently sent to the State Transport Corporation for valuation by the Motor Engineer. The Report stated in part as follows: “It has a defective engine and requires overhauling. Cracked windscreen, cracked dash board. Electrical system requires over-hauling, weak suspension system, weak and rusty under part, weak body, rusty body. Value: Not less than 4 Million Cedis (GHC400.00)”. The report was signed by the Motor Engineer and dated 7th June, 2005.
Due to the poor state of the vehicle, a buyer could not be found so the bills remained unpaid. In 2005, the court directed both parties to go to the Registrar to tabulate the outstanding amount to be paid by Mr. Mannison. It stood at C4 Million plus (GHC400.00) plus.
In 2007, Mr. Mannison instructed that the maintenance allowance of his children be collected from his wife and a receipt issued for payment by the receiver. During the period his edict was in force, it was observed that he first paid Ghc30.00 as first installment with the remaining balance of GHC20.00 paid after two weeks. For example, I sighted receipt no 004651 was issued on 15th September, 2007 in respect of Ghc30.00. It was countersigned by Lord Bortey and witnessed by Julian Mannison. The outstanding balance of Ghc20.00 was paid on 29th September, 2007.
As a result of persistent failure on the part of the ex-husband to pay up the maintenance allowance of the children, the Judge called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the form of Arbitration. He directed that the families of the two estranged love birds meet on home and away basis and that on each occasion, a bottle of Gin and a ram be presented to the other party.
The first slot fell on the ex wife, Felicia Yemoh and her family. Thus, on Sunday, 6th April, 2008, Elders from the Vanderpuye Mannison family (Nii Krowe of Nungua) received and slaughtered a ram and a bottle of Gin fro Felicia Yemoh's (his ex wife) family. Those present were 27 from both families and there are pictorial evidence to buttress this assertion. Till date, the ex husband's family is yet to reciprocate the gesture in line with the Judge's order.
His Lordship, Justice D.K.Ofosu-Quartey directed that the maintenance allowance be paid into Account Number 0120003908200 at Labadi Commercial Bank with effect from 1st April, 2009.
On March 23, 2011, an Accra High Court presided over by His Lordship, Mr. Justice Alex Owusu Ofori reviewed upward the maintenance allowance from GHC50.00 to GHC150.00 per month for the three children. It excludes school fees, medical bills and clothing.
This brings me to the crux of the matter and the subject of this write-up. The Lady in question, Felicia Yemoh and her children have been ejected from her rented apartment at Labadi. She took the children to their father, Mr. Vanderpuye Mannison, but he drove them away. With nowhere to lay her poor head and that of her children she went with her problem to a cousin of hers who agreed to accommodate them. But the two rooms her cousin who has three children of her own is already choked up. The facilities are overstretched and I was shocked to see them in such condition.
The children attend school at Nungua. How do they continue the education when they commute between their new found 'haven' and their school at Nungua on daily basis? Where does she get money to transport the children to and fro Nungua everyday, if Mr. Mannison refuses to pay the maintenance allowance of his children as and when due? What about the school fees? Remember, children are the future leaders of this great nation of ours.
In conclusion, let me use this medium to appeal to concerned individuals, especially members of the Vanderpuye Mannison's family of Nungua to impress on their kinsman to discharge his responsibility as a father to his children. Let not any misgivings or hatred Mr Mannison harbours for his ex-wife affect his relationship with his children. The children are a gift from God and any attempt to 'maltreat' them will affect his relationship with God, his maker.
By the way, what remedies are available to the lady, Felicia Yemoh and her children, when he ex-husband and father of her three children deliberately and blatantly disobeys court orders?
Daniel Danquah Damptey ([email protected]) 0243715297