Rev Joses Asare Akoto

AN ACCRA High Court has ordered that Reverend Josiah Asare Akoto, the Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman, should be served with an application for interlocutory injunction for him to appear before it.

The Asuogyaman MP has been accused of conspiring with four elders of the Akwamu Traditional Council to pocket some GH¢20 million, being compensation for the people of Akwamu.

The package was offered by government to cover lands used for the construction of the Akosombo Dam.

The court presided over by Justice Elizabeth Ankomah, which was supposed to hear the matter yesterday, observed that the MP had not appeared before it since the matter started.

This, she noted, was because he had not been served with a copy of the process and therefore ordered the plaintiff lawyer to serve him properly by substitution or through the Speaker of Parliament.

A female lawyer, who held brief for Nkrabeah Effah Dartey, the lead counsel for the plaintiff, informed the court that she had been instructed by her senior to pick a date to enable him to study an affidavit in opposition to his application for injunction.

She explained they were short served with the affidavit and therefore would need time to respond appropriately.

The motion was expected to be moved yesterday but as a result of the development, Justice Elizabeth Ankomah adjourned the matter to March 14 for both parties to do their homework.

The plaintiff, Nana Antwi Manu and the family head of the Ansaah Royal Family, on behalf of the people of Akwamu, are praying the court to order the MP, Rev Asare Akoto, and the four elders to refund the money.

The four elders are Nana Afrakoma, the queenmother of Akwamu, Nana Amo Bekai, the acting President of the Akwamu Traditional Council, Gilbert Larbi, Registrar of the Akwamufie Traditional Council and Nana Asare Antwi, family head of the Royal Aboabo family of Akwamufie.

The plaintiff and family are also seeking certain reliefs including an order for the five defendants to render full accounts of every cedi that has been used out of the GH¢20 million compensation claims collected on February 25, 2010.

They are also asking for outstanding balances to be handed over to the Akwamu Traditional Council and an order for the bank accounts of the five defendants to be frozen.

According to the plaintiff, since the 1960s, the chiefs and people of Akwamu had been following the compensation claim without success.

The disclosure of the payment by the Deputy Ranking member of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, on radio that the amount had been paid to the people of Akwamu, shocked them.

This made them to conduct a series of investigations which allegedly revealed that the defendants were the people who took the money on behalf of the Akwamu people, hence the court action to claim the money.

The defendants have denied knowledge of the GH¢20million and in their defence have argued that the action brought against them is based on mere allegations without any factual evidence.

By Mary Anane

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