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Otiko storms court over child adoption saga, ruling on March 8

BY MUNTALLA INUSAH

muntalla.inusah@dailyheritage.com.gh

THE CRIMINAL Division of the Accra High Court has set March 8, 2018, to deliver ruling on an application of stay of execution filed by Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, relating to the adoption of a child by two United States-based couple.

This application became necessary after the court had dismissed a preliminary objection to the application of stay of execution by Daniel Opare Asiedu, counsel for the couple.

In February last year, Ethan Michael Ram and Hilary Holt Ram secured a ruling from the Koforidua Circuit Court for them to adopt the three-year-old child (name withheld).

But, they were denied the opportunity by the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, to travel with the child to the United States of America because of a directive by the ministry, which placed a ban on the adoption in the country.

The couple not satisfied with the decision, proceeded to the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Justin Kofi Dorgu, which ordered the Gender Minister and the Director of Social Welfare to release the child to the new parents.

The state refused to comply with the court’s ruling, stating that it intends to pray the court to set aside its ruling on the matter. This resulted in the lawyer for the US-based citizens suing Otiko Afisa Djaba and the Director of Social Welfare for contempt of court, which is yet to be determined in an Accra high court.

Stay of execution

In court yesterday, Mr Dame while moving the application for stay of execution said, the applicants failed to comply with the statutory preconditions necessary for the adoption process to be completed.

According to him, the custodians of the authority of adoption are the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection of which Ms Djaba is the Minister.

But, Mr Opare Asiedu who vehemently opposed the application for stay of execution said, the application for stay of execution was frivolous, vexatious, unmeritorious and in bad faith.

He averred that when a person is deemed to be in contempt of court, he must purge himself of the contempt before he can make any applications before it.

Ruling of the stay of execution is expected on March 8, 2018.

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