Local Government Minister purges herself of contempt

Alima Mahama

Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural development has purged herself of the contempt charges labeled against her.
This was after the Supreme Court had been appraised over steps she had taken in the siting of Twedea as the capital of Atwima Kwahoma district in the Ashanti Region.
In accordance with the Supreme Court judgement on the 22nd May 2012, the Minister informed the court in a supplementary affidavit filed on December 18, this year that a Legislative Instrument (LI) to that effect was drafted and laid before Parliament on June 9, this year.
The affidavit indicated that the LI therefore came into force on July 14, this year and same had been gazetted.
In the affidavit, the sector Minister further stated that the Ashanti Regional Minister had been informed of the changes and administrative efforts were being made to ensure physical establishment of the District capital at Twedea.
The Minister also apologised for her inability to appear in court on November 8 when she was ordered to appear before the court.
The Supreme Court ordered the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Hajia Alima Mahama to appear before it on May 30, this year.
This was to enable her to appraise the court on the establishment of Twedea as the capital of the Atwima Kwahoma district in the Ashanti Region following a contempt application brought against her office.
The court, presided over by Justice Victor Jones Dotse, said at the time although, the Deputy Minister Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah was in court, it would be prudent enough for the Minister to appear before it.
According to the court, the applicants, namely; Nana Kwarteng Panin Akosah ll, Owoahene Acheampong, Mr Yaw Kusi and Mr. Hayford Appiah-Kubi have been travelling from Ashanti region to Accra for the hearing of the case.
But the minister based in Accra has chosen not to attend court preferring her deputy to do so.
The State at the time informed the court that it had attached a contempt application to a memo for onward transmission to the sector minister.
In the contempt application, the minister was to explain in court steps taken by government to make Twedea the district capital.

The case involves the failure of government to adhere to a May 2012 judgment of the Court ordering it to make Twedea the district capital in relation to LI 1853.

In October 26, 2007, the Kufour-led administration created 25 districts of which Atwima Kwahoma’s district capital was to be Twedea.
But in implementing the government’s decision the then National Democratic Congress administration relocated the capital to Foase irking the plaintiffs to proceed to the Kumasi High Court which ruled in their favour ordering that the capital be relocated to Twedea.

The state however appealed at the Court of Appeal which reverse the decision of the High Court holding that Foase should remain the capital of Atwima Kwamhoma.
Escalating the matter further, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court which on May 26, 2012, gave judgement in favour of the appellants.
The government at the time failed to abide by the said judgement of the Supreme Court compelling the plaintiffs to cite the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for contempt.

Source: GNA

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