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17.04.2012 General News

Elmina Chief Jailed

By Daily Guide
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A Cape Coast High Court presided over by Justice James Benuyenah Benson on Monday sentenced the paramount chief of the Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Conduah, to three months in prison and a fine of GH¢3,000 for a contempt case against him.

A cost of GH¢ 2,500 was also awarded against him in favour of the petitioners.

Briefing the press after the sentencing, Justice Benson said a case of contempt was filed against Nana Conduah in 2002 restraining him from holding himself out as the paramount chief of the area and stop attending public functions in that capacity.

He stated that sometime in the year 1998, a petition was filed before the Central Regional House of Chiefs by Supi George Asmah, the father of the former Chief Executive of Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA), George Frank Asmah.

He said the petition declared that the purported installation of Nana Conduah was contrary to the customary practices and constitution of the Edina State and should be made null and void.

Justice Benson added that the petition also ordered the destoolment of Nana Conduah.

He said subsequent to the filing of the petition, the petitioners applied for and obtained an interim injunction by the high court, restraining Nana Conduah from attending all public functions until his status as the Omanhen had been fully and finally determined by the appropriate forum.

The judge disclosed that since 2002 till date, Nana Conduah had committed contempt on five occasions. In 2002, he was even made to sign an undertaking and fined but he failed to pay the fine and also did not sign the undertaking.

Mr. Benson noted that Nana Conduah also failed to prosecute the appeal and was compelled by the Court of Appeal to sign the undertaking.

The presiding judge revealed that in 2011, Nana Conduah received a donation from MTN, a telecommunications industry in the country, presenting himself as the paramount chief of the area, towards the Edina Bakatue Festival.

The judge expressed worry about the way Nana Conduah was bent on disobeying court orders despite many contempt cases levelled against him.

'He has not shown remorse or a sign of repentance, therefore the court took a serious exception to that and imposed a custodial sentence on him to deter him from disobeying orders of the court.'

He said Nana Conduah's conduct was contumacious and impaired the integrity of the court and legal system of the country, adding that the court could no longer tolerate that.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that the family members of the former MCE started distributing white bands in the courtroom immediately the judge pronounced the judgment.

DAILY GUIDE also gathered that Nana Conduah started weeping bitterly at the court immediately he was sentenced, a situation which compelled his followers who trooped to the court to also cry.

Nana Conduah, who was dressed in his traditional cloth, was ushered into the Ghana Prisons van and sent to the Ankaful prisons yard.

Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicated that the lawyers of Nana Conduah have filed an appeal against the sentence and have also applied for a bail term.

The lawyers of Nana Conduah included Michael Atta Dadzie and Ebow Dawson.

According to Mr. Dadzie, they would do everything possible to ensure the release of Nana Conduah from prison.

From Sarah Owusu-Darlington, Cape Coast

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