Crime & Punishment of 2014-07-14

Court rules in Sempe Mantse case

The Fast Track High Court has ruled that Nii Otintor II cannot hold himself as the Sempe Mantse in the Ga Traditional Area. According to the court, presided over by Mr Justice U. P. Dery, the only recognised Sempe Mantse was Nii Adote Obuor II, who was enstooled on December 13, 1971.

The court arrived at the decision after it had thrown out a writ filed by Nii Otintor II also known as Nii Moi Allotei Brown against the Adansie Newspaper and four other persons for defamation. The other defendants were Henry Ayi-Ado, Prosper Agbenyega, Thy Kingdom Judessey and Fantasy Productions.

Nii Otintor had asked the court to grant him damages with a sum of GH¢10 million. He had also prayed the court to restrain the defendants from publishing any further defamatory material about him.

But in its ruling, the court said the defendants were able to provide a copy of gazette notification in the Local Government Bulletin dated August 10, 1990 in which it was stated that James Nee Allotey was enstooled on December 13, 1971 as the Sempe Mantse under the stool name Nii Adote Obuor II.

According to the court, from the response of Nii Otintor in connection with the authenticity of the gazette notification that James Nee Allotey was the Sempe Mantse under the stool name Nii Adote Obuor II, it was clear that he (Nii Otintor) finds solace in the defendants’ publication that he was the Sempe Mantse.

It said Nii Otintor failed to endorse the writ with sufficient particulars of the publication as required by law. “With respect to the plaintiff’ I do not think that if you do not have a particular capacity and somebody refers to you by that capacity, you assume the said capacity knowing very well that you do not have the said capacity.

“If that were the case people could deliberately engage others to honour them with capacities they do not really have,” the judge held.