Family Petitions Police, Attorney General For Exhumation And Reburial Of Buried Body At Public Cemetery

From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi
The Bribiwaase family of Jachie in the Bosomtwe district in Ashanti has petitioned the Police and the Attorney General to act responsibly, urgently and promptly to ensure speedy delivery of justice to build confidence in their services. The family indicated that the Attorney General has sent the docket back to the Police Service for further advice and appealed to the police to act responsibly because “Justice delayed is just

It follows an appeal by the family to the Ashanti Regional Minister to order the exhumation of the late Opanin Kwaku Asamoah from the house, for burial at a public Cemetery.

The petition, which was also copied to the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Nathaniel Kofi Bookie and the Regional Director of EPA among others, called for the exhumation of the decomposed body of Opanin Kwaku Asamoah.

“We are concerned because it is definite that the decomposed body of Opanin Kwaku Asamoah will drain into our family’s well and other nearby wells in our neighborhood ,which poses serious environmental and health hazard to our family”, he complained.

The family has since February 2014 raised concerns over the unauthorized home burial of one Opanin Kwaku Asamoah, which burial site is said to be close to a source of drinking water of a neighbour.

The petitioners, Abusuapanin Kwaku Fokuo, Mr. Augustine Aidoo (Head of Nuclear Family) and Opanin Yaw Afranie fear the possible health hazards and psychological effects that this home burial possess to their household and the neighborhood.

Their worry is premised on the fact that the landscape is water logged and the seepage from the corpse might drain into their well which is 78 feet from the burial site. They said the said burial was unlawful since they did not obtain burial permit and therefore violates section 24 of the Birth and Death Act of 1965 Act 301 and, therefore, awaiting the exhumation and reburial of the deceased at a public cemetery.

The said act is also said to be causing nuisance to neighbourhood contrary to section 296 (1) of act 29/60 as amended. They claim, the body of one late Opanin Kwaku Asamoah with whom the family shared a close fence was buried at his house at Jachie South on

February 8 2014 adding that this nuisance and insensitiveness caused by the deceased’s family smacks off insensitivity and described the action of Opanin Asamoah’s family as a bad precedence and one big worry bequeathed on his family by their neighbour which, must be resisted.

“The ultimate goal of the family is to have the body of the late Opanin Kwaku Asamoah be exhumed and buried at the cemetery”, they requested. Complaints regarding the issue have also been lodged with the Bosomtwe District Assembly, the District and Regional Environmental and Protection Agency (EPA), the Kuntanase Divisional Police and the elders of the Jachie Sub-Traditional Council (JTC) following which the EPA acted on the complaints and initiated action against the family of the late Opanin Kwaku Asamoah at the Bekwai Circuit Court.

Justice Daniel Kwaku Obeng, presiding on the case on Monday, August 4, 2014, upheld that the action of the late Opanin Kwaku Asamoah’s family represented in court by Matthew Wireko (Family Head), Kofi Agyapong, (Assistant family Head) and Rexford Opoku, a member; was an unauthorized burial contrary to section 24 of registration of births and deaths act of 301 of 1965

Meanwhile, Mr. Cudjoe, an environmental officer at Jachie also confirmed to The Chronicle that the family was not permitted to bury the late Opanin Kwaku Asamoah in his residence and that they erred in interring the body there.

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