From Naabenyin Joojo Amissah, Cape Coast
Justice William Boampong, a Cape Coast High Court Judge presiding over the case where a faction of the Agona Royal Family at Dunkwa in the Central Region has sued the Queenmother and others over the ownership of Denkyira Palace, has threatened to vacate the injunction on the palace if the case is deliberately delayed.
According to Justice William Boampong, per the orders of the Chief Justice, every case is time-bound, and that parties to the suit should not engage in indolence to frustrate the speedy trial of the case.
Justice Boampong gave the warning when the new lawyer for the plaintiff, Garry Nimako, pleaded with the court to give him time to study the case, since he has just taken over from the previous counsel, Mr Gudstav Addington.
The latter had previously told the court that he was no more going to handle the case, and that he had come under spiritual attacks.
According to Nimako, an Accra-based legal luminary, he had already requested for copies of previous proceedings of the court. Following his request, the Chief Executive Officer of the EXIM Bank, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam, who was supposed to mount the witness box to be cross-examined, was absent.
Counsel Nimako’s request was vehemently opposed by counsel for the defendant, Mr Daniel Arthur, who told the court that his learned friend’s request was not legally binding, and that hearing of the case could proceed with or without it.
Mr Arthur told the court that the witness, Lawrence Agyinsam, had already filed his witness statement, and only has to be cross-examined.
After back and forth legal arguments between the two lawyers, the judge granted Garry Nimako’s request, but warned that the court would not countenance any act of delays.
The case was, therefore, adjourned to May 30, while a cost of GH¢1,500 was awarded against the plaintiff for delaying and wasting the court’s time.
The Denkyira Traditional Council (DTC) and Denkyira Hemaa, Nana Ayensuwa Saara III, defendants in the case, pulled down the Denkyira Palace and started building a new one before the funeral and burial of the late Denkyira Paramount Chief, Odeefo Boa Amponsem.
A faction within the Agona Family, led by Ebusuapanin Nuama, however, opposed the decision, and, therefore, sued the Denkyirahemaa at the Cape Coast High Court 3.
Ebusuapanin Nuamah, who was peeved by the collapse of the 19th Century building, instituted the legal action, claiming that the said building was the private property of the late Nana Nkwantabisa I.
He averred that the late King, Nana Nkwantabisa I, lived in the said building with his wife and children during his reign as his private residence.
This was disputed by the Denkyira Queenmother, who stated that the said building was built purposely to serve as the Palace of the Denkyira State.
In her statement of defence, Nana Ayensuwa stated categorically that “the house in dispute has variously been used and occupied by all the successive Kings of Denkyira State.”
She maintained that the property in disagreement was the official Palace of the kings of Denkyira State, and served same purpose during the reigns of all the five Denkyira kings who ruled before Odeεfoↄ Boa Amponsam III.