The Dzasetse of Nii Arde Nkpa family from Kokrobite, Langma and Tuba in the Greater Accra Region, Nii Ansah Sasaraku III, has been jailed 30 days by an Accra High Court for contempt.
The court presided over by Justice Elizabeth Ankamah slapped the jail sentence because the chief was said to have defied a court order.
The court also warned Nii Kojo Ababio IV of James Town, for his involvement in the case.
The court was said to have ruled that Nii Ansah Sasaraku III was not the legally recognized head of the Nii Arde Nkpa Family. The said chief, with the aid of Nii Kojo Ababio IV, wrote a letter to Nii Arde Nkpa that he had been destooled as the head of family.
The facts of the case are that, after the installation of Nii Ansah Sasaraku III as the Dzasetse of the Nii Arde Nkpa family, he allegedly imposed himself as the head of the family against a legalized appointed head of the family, Rev Nii Tackie Tagoe.
Because of the existing confrontation, Nii Sasaraku III then took the family to court seeking an injunction on the head of the family and Daniel Nii Arde Tagoe, the administrator of Kokrobite, Langma and Tuba Lands.
A Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice Offei dismissed the application describing it as frivolous and vexatious.
Nii Sasaruku failed to abide by the court ruling and continued to operate as the Dzasetse and also as the head of family. He then wrote a letter to Nii Arde Nkpa that he had been destooled.
The jailed chief was said to have started re-selling lands which were already sold by the family and organized land guards to pull down private properties and structures with the aid of the James Town Mantse.
The Dzasetse even went to the extent of appointing head men in the villages and further wrote a letter to the Municipal Chief Executive of Ga South that he had destooled Nii Arde Nkpa.
The two then wrote to the Lands Commission that he, Sasaraku was the Dzasetse and the head of family contrary to the ruling.
Not able to take it anymore, the family initiated contempt proceedings at the High Court in Cocoa Affairs Division against the two respondents.
Delivering his ruling last Friday, Justice Ankamah said the fact that Nii Kojo Ababio was the paramount chief of James Town did not in any way give him the right to unnecessarily interfere in other family affairs.
He escaped punishment because in his statement of defence, he told the court that he was not aware of the earlier ruling against Nii Sasaraku III.
In the case of Nii Sasaraku III, the court admonished that he was fully aware of the ruling and should not have acted otherwise, so the court sentenced him to one month imprisonment.
Counsel for Nii Sasaraku, George Heward Mills, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy and convert the sentence to fines, but the court opposed the application.