The Cape Coast High Court 3 briefly became the centre of attraction on Tuesday, this week, when the case involving the ownership of Denkyira Palace, which has stalled the burial of the late Paramount Chief, Ode?fo? Boa Amponsam III, came up for hearing.
The Denkyira Traditional Council (DTC) and Denkyira Hemaa (Queen mother), Nana Ayensuwa Saara III, as part of the plan to give a befitting burial to the late Paramount Chief decided to pull down the old palace and rebuild it before the funeral is held.
Whilst the re-building of the palace was ongoing, a faction of the Royal Agona Family, led by Ebusuapanin Nuamah, went to court seeking an order to stop the building.
Ebusuapanin Nuamah is arguing in court that the building serving as a palace was a private property of the late Nana Nkwantabisa I, a former Denkyirahene and that the Traditional Council had no right to pull it down and try to rebuild it.
The claim has, however, been disputed by the Denkyira Queen-mother, who insists 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 consistently maintained that the property in disagreement was the official palace of the Kings of the Denkyira State, and served the same purpose during the reigns of all the five Denkyira Kings who ruled before Ode?fo? Boa Amponsam III.
When the case was called on April 30, Tuesday, Counsel for the plaintiff, Mr Gustav Addington, told the court, presided over by Justice William Boampong, that he had come under severe spiritual attacks, and was, therefore, informing the court about his decision to pull out of the case for his client, Ebusuapanin Nicholas Nuamah (plaintiff), to look for a new counsel.
Lawyer Addington, who has over thirty years experience at the bar, further told the court that one of the witnesses in the case, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam, had already informed him about their plans to substitute him (Addington) for another lawyer.
According to Addington, Mr Agyinsam claimed that they had settled on a lawyer who belongs to their political party to represent them in court, to which he has obliged.
Counsel for the respondent, Mr Daniel Arthur, however, objected to this, stating that the newly-found lawyer for the plaintiff should have been in court for proceedings to continue.
He claimed that the plaintiff was rather deploying delay tactics so as to prolong the hearing of the case, and prayed the court to strike out the case, since the plaintiff was only marking time. Madam Ruby Lovelace Oppong, who represented the plaintiff, told the court that their newly found lawyer could not make it to the court because he was informed about the hearing late.
She, therefore, pleaded with the court that the said lawyer, whose name was not mentioned, would appear at the next hearing date, and pleaded for an adjournment.
The judge, however, ruled that it would be unfair to deny the plaintiff the right to have a legal representation.
The case was, therefore, adjourned to May 16, 2019, while a cost of GH¢500 was awarded against the plaintiff for delaying and wasting the court’s time.