Attempts by Nii Kwashie Gborlor IV a.k.a Humphery Dzartor Botchway, claimant to the Ngleshie Amanfrom Stool to destroy Mr. Charles Nii Akramah Mensah who was enstooled as Chief of the area by Kingmakers and Heads of all the seven ruling clans under the Stool name Nii Akramah Nyornmor Bei II, by sending him to jail for Contempt of Court has failed.
A High Court on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 dismissed an Application for Committal for Contempt of Court which was filed by Nii Kwashie Gborlor IV against Charles Nii Akramah Mensah, who is also the biological father of the Dancehall King Shatta Wale.
Nii Kwashie Gborlor IV in Suit No. CR/110/2019 claimed Charles Nii Akramah Mensah has been referring to himself Chief of Ngleshie Amanfrom even though he is not and that he had, on several platforms contrary to an undertaking he made to the Court.
In his Written Submission, Humphery Dzartor Botchway (Applicant) indicated that his (Kwashie Gborlor) installation followed the demise of the late Chief, Nii Kwashie Gborlor III in January 2005, and he has since been occupying the seat till date.
He said, notwithstanding that fact, Charles Nii Akramah Mensah has also been writing letters to members of the public under the Title as the Chief of Ngleshie Amanfrom.
He stated that he (Kwashie Gborlor) is the Chief of the area and that he has been gazetted as the recognized chief of the area and averred that per a Judgement given on March 19, 2014, he together with the Principal elders have the authority to make valid grants to the Ngleshie Amanfrom lands.
Presenting some Exhibits to support his claims, Humphery Dzartor Botchway mentioned that when the Respondent (Charles Nii Akramah Mensah) was cited for Contempt in the previous Application, he filed no Affidavit in Opposition but sought the intervention of the Paramount Chief, the late Oblempong Kojo Ababio V to mediate in the matter.
“He therefore wrote to the Court to be given the opportunity to mediate in the matter. Oblempong successfully mediated the issue and wrote to the Court to inform it of its outcome. The Respondent accepted his guilt and apologized for his conduct. He agreed to provide a written statement to discontinue calling himself an acting Chief of Ngleshie Amanfrom,” the Applicant stated.
Humphery Dzartor Botchway said Charles Nii Akramah Mensah also gave a written undertaking to disassociate himself from such “unwarranted acts.”
Meanwhile in his Written Submission, the Defendant /Respondent(Charles Nii Akramah Mensah) stated emphatically that the Contempt Application which was filed against him by Humphery Dzartor Botchway (Kwashie Gborlor) was without any merit and a “flagrant abuse of the court process and a disingenuous attempt by the Applicant, a rival of the Respondent in an on-going Chieftaincy Dispute in Ngleshie Amanfrom to mislead this Honourable Court into assuming jurisdiction in what is purely a Chieftaincy matter.”
Charles Nii Akramah Mensah also told the Court in his Submission that a Proceeding of Wednesday March 19, 2014 in the High Court in Suit Number SOLM 6/13 (The Republic vrs. King Acquah Behin, Nii Akramah Mensah Ex-Parte Nii Kwashie Gborlor was the very reason why the Applicant sought to commit him to Prison.
He mentioned that His Lordship Mr. Justice Enerst Obimpeh struck out the contempt application brought by Kwashie Gborlor against him and King Acquah Benin.
The case, he noted was settled after a mediation by the Paramount Chief of James Town, Ngleshie Alata and the Mediator Committee.
Nii Akramah Nyonmor Bei II also indicated that the Contempt Application which was before Justice Obimpeh was never heard on the merits since the Court in that case did not enter any judgement in favour of the Applicant and neither did it find the Respondent liable for any contempt as the Applicant in this present case sought to suggest.
Nii Akramah Mensah further went on to indicate that in striking out the said Application, Justice Obimpeh was informed about the mediation and that he had, on March 19, 2014 written to discontinue calling himself as an Acting Chief of Ngleshie Amanfrom, but since he begun calling himself as the Chief of the area, there were events within that period which should have significant effect on the determination of the current Application filed by Humphery Dzartor Botchway.
Nii Akramah stated that since his installation as Chief of Ngleshie Amanfrom in December 2015, “any reference to himself as chief of Ngleshie Amanfrom or any authorization emanating from him in that capacity is justified and cannot be construed as disobedience to courts proceedings,” adding that the court did not make any order restraining him from accepting the title or agreeing to be installed chief of Ngleshie Amanfrom.
“Neither were the principal elders and family heads of the 7 clans of Ngleshie Amanfrom perpetually restrained from ever nominating, installing or conferring on him the title in issue,” he argued.
Responding to the mediation by the late Oblempong Kojo Ababio for which Kwashie Gborlor said, Charles Nii Akramah Mensah could not hold himself as chief, Nii Akramah Mensah said that was a quasi-criminal action the Applicant embarked upon and that it does not terminate that was without a pronouncement by the court.
He also quoted the judgement as saying that “This matter has been successfully settled. The terms of settlement is accepted by both parties. Case struck out as settled.”
Nii Akramah Mensah said, to him, there was no judgement of the court as it stated that the matter had been settled by the parties.
His Lordship, Justice Noble-Nkrumah said, from my reading of the affidavits in this action particularly exhibits NANB 4 and NANB 8, the Applicant’s name was expunged from the National Register of Chiefs on the 12th of November 2015. The Applicant’s 7 point particulars set out in his application have dated occurring after this date.
The Trial Judge again made reference to a matter in which the Overlord James Town Stool Obrempong Nii Kojo Ababio V intervened and settled. Accordingly to His Lordship, his reading of exhibit L does not suggest to him the Court entered any judgment as the Applicant suggests, as to warrant a contempt action. That was a quasi-criminal action the Applicant embarked upon. It does not terminate that way without a pronouncement by the Court. The Court stated.
The trial Judge also indicated within this context no indication on the face of exhibit L that the made orders that retrained the Respondent Charles Nii Akramah Mensah from ever accepting a nomination or calling himself Chief of Ngleshie Amanfro. In a sense it was as if no matter had come to Court at all.
The Judge, His Lordship Jerome Noble-Nkrumah in throwing Kwashie Gborlor’s Application out stated that, “All said, I am of the opinion, having read the affidavit evidence before me together with the written submissions that this is a matter touching on or concerning chieftaincy with the parties holding rival claims. This court will be drawn out of its depts in terms of its jurisdiction to deal with such matters. In the circumstances, I decline the Applicant’s prayer and same is dismissed.”
Speaking to Nii Akramah Mensah (Nii Akramah Nyonmor Bei II) after the ruling, he expressed satisfaction that the truth has finally emerged and that the ill intentions of his opponents have come to light. He therefore used this opportunity to express his sincere thanks to well-meaning citizens of Ngleshie Amanfro especially his loyal supporters for their tenacity and Unity of Purpose.
By PROSPER AGBENYEGA