'Replace‌ ‌Oheneba Yao statue‌ ‌within‌ ‌14‌ ‌days'‌ ‌–‌ ‌New‌ ‌Juaben‌ ‌Paramount‌ ‌Chief‌ warned‌

Sat, 3 Apr 2021 Source: Michael Teye, Contributor

The Paramount Chief of the New Juaben Traditional Area in the Eastern Region and the New Juaben Traditional Council have been given 14 days to replace a statue they pulled down or face legal action from the disgruntled Oheneba Yao Boateng family.

The family writing through its solicitors, Osafo Adu-Amankwah & Co, says the Paramount Chief must replace the statue he demolished at the Prince Boateng Roundabout in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Capital.

The solicitors made the demand in a letter dated March 29, 2021 and addressed to the Registrar of the New Juaben Traditional Council, copied to Nana Daasebre Professor Emeritus Oti Boateng, President of the New Juaben Traditional Council and the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the New Juaben South Municipal Assembly, Osafo Adu-Amankwah.

The statue of Oheneba Yao Boateng, known in private life as Prince Emmanuel Yao Boateng during his lifetime was pulled down about a week ago by the New Juaben Traditional Council which it described as “offensive and dirty trick.”

The traditional council argued that the bust of the late Emmanuel Yao Boateng was erected by his children without the approval of Daasebre Prof. Emeritus Oti Boateng, the Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Council which it deemed as “gross disrespect” to the Yiadom Hwedie stool by the family.

According to the Council, pulling down the statue was the last resort available to it following the refusal by the children of the late Oheneba Yao Boateng to remove the statue as it promised when summoned on February 5, 2021 by the traditional council.

But responding to the action, the solicitors said the decision by the affected family to institute the bust was not illegal since due process was employed in the whole procedure.

“…it is also disingenuous to characterize our Clients as having taken an extremely self-serving and inward-looking decision to erect the bust as the entire process before the erection of the bust was subjected to laid down procedures and requisite legal regulations,” noted the solicitors.

Challenging the authority of the traditional council to demolish physical structures, the Oheneba Yao Boateng family argued that such powers only belong to the District Assemblies.

“To the above issues, all public spaces and naming are vested by law in Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs), in this instance the New Juaben South Municipal Assembly. Again, regulating physical planning and development within any district is solely the mandate of District Assemblies (New Juaben South Municipal Assembly), therefore, it is entirely misplaced and a lack of understanding of the law to suggest that the New Juaben Traditional Council ought to have been consulted and same granting permission before such a physical development can be undertaken since they have no such powers under the law,” the family argued.

The family also reminded the traditional council that it officially went through the required processes and duly informed the New Juaben Traditional Council before erecting the bust.

They said, “Kindly be informed that the New Juaben South Municipal Assembly, after going through its processes under law, on 21st December 2020 issued a permit to our Clients to undertake the beautification and erection of a bust in memory of Prince Boateng (Oheneba Yao Boateng). After the granting of the permit, our Clients paid a visit to the offices of the New Juaben Traditional Council to officially inform Nananom through the office of the Council of the project which was about to be undertaken.”

The solicitors also described the move as illegal, even if it did not appeal to the traditional council.

“Your destruction of the bust and your subsequent press release explaining your reasons for the above-mentioned destruction is absolutely illegal even if the bust is offensive to you,” the statement said inter alia.

Source: Michael Teye, Contributor
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