The people of Worawora and Nkonya Ahenkro are engaged in a fierce legal tussle at an Accra Fast Track High Court over the capital of the new district.
However, in a petition to the Chief Justice, Justice Georgina Wood, a copy of which is available to DAILY GUIDE, Daasebre Nana Asare III, the Woraworahene and his sub chiefs have accused the NDC National Chairman of working behind the scenes to get the district capital to be located at Nkonya Ahenkro where he hails from.
Kwabena Adjei, the Worawora chiefs recounted, had recently been in the news following a public declaration of his intention and that of his party to ‘cleanse the judiciary’, after the ruling party had blamed judges for Attorney-General Betty Mould-Iddrisu’s streak of losses in court.
They are worried that the case, which the NDC Chairman has been deeply involved in, has suddenly been transferred from Justice S. K. Asiedu to Justice K. A. Ofori-Atta at a time that both parties were preparing for final submissions and ruling.
Worawora chiefs are the plaintiffs-respondents and the Attorney-General defendant-applicant in the case.
According to the chiefs, they were served with a notice of transfer and hearing dated September 2, 2010.
They said the notice emanated from the Office of the Registrar of the Fast Track High Court without stating the reasons and authority of the transfer of the suit from “one judge who is already seised of the trial to another Judge for continuation”.
“Moreover, it is difficult to understand why and how a suit that is being tried by one judge who had adjourned same to a date for ruling could properly and lawfully be assigned to another judge, for the continuation of the trial during legal vacation without any previous consultation with the plaintiffs and their lawyers,” they submitted.
The traditional rulers averred that prior to the notice of transfer, “reports were rife in the newly-created Biakoye District that certain political personalities in the ruling NDC who are interested in the outcome of the suit had given assurances to their people that steps were being taken to cause the said transfer and thereby ensure a favourable trial and outcome”.
The said NDC political personalities, the chiefs claimed, included Dr. Kwabena Adjei, National Chairman of the NDC who also hails from Nkonya Ahenkro.
“They said reports in the Biakoye District further indicated that Dr. Kwabena Adjei and his associates have assured their people that they would do everything and anything that it takes to have the newly-created Biakoye District Assembly inaugurated at Nkonya Ahenkro as the district capital, immediately their much anticipated ruling is given,” the chiefs alleged.
In their view, Dr. Kwabena Adjei’s much publicised threat that “there are many ways of killing a cat” is evidently an act of intimidation and aggression against the country’s courts and judges, including particularly the Office of the Chief Justice.
“Clearly therefore, the said notice to transfer, which further seeks to unduly hasten and conclude the trial of the suit, tends to reinforce, if not confirm, the said reports of attempts by men with political clout to unduly influence the trial of the suit and the course of justice,” the chiefs reiterated.
They pleaded with the Chief Justice to reverse the transfer, else Dr. Kwabena Adjei would have his way with the judiciary by employing one of the “many ways of killing a cat” to interfere in the course of justice.
The chiefs averred that before the legal vacation, Justice S. K. Asiedu had already ordered lawyers of the parties to file submissions and the suit was adjourned to a date in November 2010 for ruling.
“It was the understanding of the plaintiffs and their lawyers that the long adjournment aforesaid was necessitated primarily by the intervention of two months of legal vacation and further for the purpose of ensuring that all necessary submission, including answers and replies, if any have all been filed by lawyers for the parties to enable the court to have fairly sufficient time to consider and give its ruling on the said date,” the worried chiefs pointed out.
According to them, no objection was raised by the parties to the said adjournment as the defendant-applicant did not make any case for an abridgement of time.
They stated that up to today, neither the plaintiffs themselves nor their lawyers had been served with any written submissions by the Attorney-General to enable lawyers for plaintiffs to file their response even during legal vacation.
By Awudu Mahama: dailguideonline