THE Kumasi High Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Nana Owusu Akyaw Prempeh, a claimant to the Juaso Stool in the Ashanti Region, for refusing to appear before it to respond to a contempt suit.
Mr Justice Frank Amoah, who presided, said, “I order that the respondent (Nana Prempeh) be arrested under bench warrant. When arrested, he shall be granted bail in the sum of GH¢50,000 with two sureties.”
The certified true copy of the order dated July 29, 2009, stated that a medical report on Nana Prempeh brought to the court by his representative could only be described as a “sham.”
Mr Justice Amoah also referred to the failure of Nana Prempeh’s counsel to appear in court and said he would therefore not accept the explanation given by the emissary of Nana Prempeh.
The Juaben Traditional Council and others, including Nana Oware Kankam, the Adontenhene of Juaso, filed the contempt suit at the High Court against Nana Prempeh for failing to hand over stool properties in his possession.
The plaintiffs contended that Nana Prempeh’s refusal to hand over the properties was in contravention of an order of the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, which was later confirmed by the High Court in Kumasi.
Juaso has been embroiled in a protracted chieftaincy dispute that has resulted in violence on certain occasions.
It all started in 1994 when some kingmakers of Juaso filed destoolment charges against Nana Prempeh at the Juaben Traditional Council. Traditionally, Juaso owes allegiance to the Juabenhene.
The traditional council ruled in favour of the kingmakers, paving the way for the instalment of Barium Safrotwie Sarpong as Juasohene.
Nana Prempeh appealed to the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, which upheld the orders of the traditional council and ordered that Nana Prempeh returned all stool properties in his possession.
The matter has since travelled through the National House of Chiefs and the High Court until the contempt charges were filed.