THE Yentreso Asona Royal Family of Akrofuom in the Adansi area of the Ashanti Region has expressed its disappointment with the Obuasi Police for allegedly disregarding a court injunction to provide security for the burial of a member of the family last Saturday.
A number of armed policemen, some of them from the Buffalo Unit in Kumasi, were said to have gone to the town to give security to the defendants in a civil suit to enable them to hold the funeral of Mrs Fanny Theresa Rigg Stewart, a member of the Royal Family, in spite of the court injunction.
The Head of the Royal Family, Nana Opuni Kwagyan II, aka Kwaku Nyame, said the action of the police was a threat to security in the area and, therefore, appealed to the Inspector-General the Police (IGP) to investigate the behaviour of the police and bring offenders to book.
Making the appeal through the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Nana Kwagyan said the family duly provided evidence of the court injunction to the Obuasi Divisional Police Commander, Superintendent Emmanuel Amissah, but he allegedly ignored it.
He said it was unbelievable for the police to disregard a legal document such as an injunction and go ahead to act in a way that threatened security.
The Kumasi High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Kwame Ansu-Gyeabour, granted the order for limited injunction preventing the defendants, led by the Head of the Asona Family of Adokwa Adansi, Barima Kwame Ahinkorah, from organising the burial and funeral rites of the late Mrs Stewart, aka Auntie Awura Abena, who was a member of the plaintiffs’ family.
In their statement of claim filed by their counsel, Mr Anthony Osei Poku, the plaintiffs said Mrs Stewart had died on December 4, 2009, and, as custom demanded, the Royal Family had to get in touch with the queen to ensure satisfactory arrangements for the funeral.
According to the plaintiffs, they contacted the queen because the Akrofuom Stool had become vacant since the demise of the last chief, Nana Okai Ababio.
They said while discussions were going on, the defendants, who claimed to be members of the deceased’s family, posted bills in Akrofuom and Obuasi to indicate that the funeral of Mrs Stewart was to take place on Saturday, February 27, 2010.
They contended that all attempts to get them to stop the funeral failed and they, therefore, sought the intervention of the court.
Upon hearing the arguments of the legal counsel, the court granted the limited injunction to last until March 9, 2010.
After the granting of the injunction, the family was surprised that the police would ignore it and provide security for the funeral.
However, when contacted, Supt Amissah told the Daily Graphic that the police were not at the funeral grounds but only positioned themselves at the police station on standby against any disturbances.
He admitted seeing the injunction on the burial of the woman but said, “There was nothing I could do to stop the funeral.”
He stated that the police could have gone in to seize the body of the deceased but realised that could create further trouble.
Supt Amissah denied an allegation by the family that the police were served food at the funeral, explaining, “We mashed our own kenkey and ate it.”