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10.09.2004 Crime & Punishment

Member of Council of State and others face contempt case

By GNA

Accra, Sept. 10, GNA- A High Court in Accra on Friday granted leave to an ex-parte motion that sought to commence a contempt proceeding against Mr Fred Asante, Eastern Region representative on the Council of State. Mr. Asante and Ms. Aba Rhule, resident of Abeka-Lapaz are to answer for disobeying the orders of a Circuit Court, which had restrained them from removing a body at the 37 Military Hospital for burial. Joined in the suit are the officers in-charge of the 37 Military and Kibi Government Hospitals.

On September 3, this year a Circuit Court in Accra, presided over by Mr Kwame Asiedu restrained Mr. Asante and Ms. Rhule and their agents, assigns and representatives from removing the body of Ms. Owusua Oduro Kwarten, 25, deposited at the 37 Military Hospital for burial without the consent of the deceased parents and members of its family.

Moving the motion, Mr Kofi Awuku-Peprah stated that the respondents intentionally and wilfully violated the orders of the circuit court. The court, presided over by Mr. Justice Kobena A.A Acquaye granted the application.

By that action counsel for the applicants can now file suit of contempt charges and serve them accordingly.

In an affidavit in support of the motion, Mr Marmaduke Amewode and Ms Hilda Amewode, said they were the uncle and aunt respectively of the deceased while the two respondents were the boyfriend and an aunt of the late Ms. Kwarten.

The applicants further stated that Mr. Oduro Kwarteng, based in the US and father of the deceased had given them the authority to arrange a befitting funeral and burial celebration of his daughter with family members.

Mr. Kwarteng had in a letter warned Ms Rhule to desist from involving in the affair, "a man who was believed to be a Member of Council of State," who, he heard was claiming to be the father of the deceased.

According to the applicants after the death of Ms Kawrten, Mr Amewode deposited the body at the 37 Military Hospital Mortuary and was given receipts.

The applicants obtained an order of interim injunction at the Circuit Court on September 3, this year and when the Court baillifs went to the hospital to serve the officers at mortuary they realised the body had already been given to the defendants.

After enquiries at the hospital, the applicants and bailiffs were told that the body had been removed and sent to the Kibi Government Hospital. It was found out there that the respondents had already buried the body without any paper covering it and had even returned to Accra.

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