Story: Chris Nunoo, Wa
THE Dankpanyiri family of Charia in the Upper West Region has described the declaration of one Kofi Bagah as the substantive chief of Charia as a miscarriage of justice which could re-awaken the disturbances in the town and mar the current peace in the area.
The family has, therefore, called on the National House of Chiefs and the Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs to institute a thorough investigation into the latest development and probe the committee set up by the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs to handle the chieftaincy dispute in Charia.
Addressing a press conference in reaction to a publication in the May 22, 2008 edition of the Daily Graphic, the spokesperson for the Dankpanyiri family, who is also a sub-chief of the area, Naa J.B. Bagbligbee, described the action of the committee as a recipe for trouble.
“As a result of these injustices we are appealing to the National House of Chiefs and the Minister responsible for Chieftaincy Affairs to set up an independent body to investigate the conduct of the committee,” he stated.
This, according to Naa Bagbligbee, would give a fair chance to all parties to get to the bottom of the matter in order to lay the prolonged Charia chieftaincy dispute to rest.
Naa Bagbligbee further explained that after the enskinment of Martin Dong Bakaana as the chief of Charia, who died a few weeks after his enskinment, the Yidana of Dakpanyiri, Seuri Yipaala Naa, brought a suit against them.
He said during preparations for the late Martin Bakaana’s funeral, an injunction from the Regional House of Chiefs was placed on the family not to bury the deceased as a chief, which they obliged for the sake of peace.
Naa Bagbligbee said after several postponements of the case by the committee at the Regional House of Chiefs which led to the deceased lying in the morgue for close to 17 months, a meeting was finally convened by the committee.
He said the committee ruled that they could go ahead with the funeral of the deceased, but with a caveat, not to bury him as a chief after which the substantive case would be heard.
Naa Bagligbee further noted that the committee assured them that their side of the case would be heard after the funeral rites of the late Martin Bakaana, but they never had that opportunity.
However, he said on April 8, 2008, they were served with a letter from the committee that judgement on the case would be passed on May 8, 2008.
This, Naa Bagligbee said, did not go down well with the family, and so they petitioned against the decision since their side of the story was yet to be heard as agreed by the committee before the burial of the deceased.
“The committee subsequently went ahead to pass judgement against us and pronounced one Kofi Bagah as the chief of Charia; this is a clear case of injustice,” Naa Bagbligbee stressed.