THE Supreme Court has, by a 3-2 majority decision, set aside a 17-year-old ruling by the Court of Appeal that imposed a day's prison sentence on Nana Osei Kwadwo II, at the time the Omanhene of the Bekwai Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region.
This followed a criminal appeal filed by the ex-Omanhene against the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which led to the PNDC government withdrawing its recognition of him in 1991.
A certified true copy of the Supreme Court ruling, titled, “The Republic Versus Nana Osei Kwadwo II”, dated July 11, 2008, said, “The appeal is allowed, the conviction and sentence of the appellant is set aside.”
The court further ordered that a fine imposed on Nana Osei Kwadwo by the Court of Appeal, if paid, should be refunded to him.
Justices Kpegah, Atuguba and Sophia Akuffo, according to the certified true copy of the ruling, ruled in favour of the appeal, while Justices Georgina Wood and Dr Date-Bah dissented.
The whole matter started in 1990 when two king makers of Bekwai levelled charges of illegal collection of tolls from settler cocoa farmers against Nana Osei Kwadwo, then the substantive Omanhene.
The case went to the circuit court in Kumasi and the Omanhene was found guilty and fined ¢50,000 (now GH¢5).
Nana Osei Kwadwo appealed against the decision of the lower court at the High Court and at the end of the day won the appeal.
However, in 1991, the two king makers proceeded to the Court of Appeal where the two judgements given by the Circuit Court and the High Court were set aside and the Omanhene sentenced to a day's imprisonment, in addition to a fine of ¢100,000 (now GH¢10).
After his conviction, the then government withdrew recognition of him and asked him to hand over all stool property to the then PNDC District Secretary, to which he complied.
Nana Osei Kwadwo proceeded to the Supreme Court on a criminal appeal, which he won on July 11, 2008.