The Superior court of judicature siting in Accra, Ghana has declined the appeal for a stay of execution of the High Court judgement that ordered the release of the remains of the late philanthropist, High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs to his family led by his son, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, to convey the same to Nigeria, for burial and funeral rites.
The widow of the late billionaire, Seinye through her counsel had approached the court for a Stay of Execution of the order by Ghana High Court ordering the release of the mortal remains of her late husband to the family through the second oldest son, Dumo.
“The basis upon which plaintiff/Applicant seeks the suspension of the order of the court dated 23rd December, 2019 is that, there is an appeal pending beside two applications at the Supreme Court, flowing from my order.
“It is my understanding, that it is not the filing of an appeal or the pendency of applications before the Supreme Court that brings to the fore, an issue of suspension, but that a party must establish a prima facie case, that greater hardship will be occasioned him if the orders are not suspended, with the appeal standing a greater chance of being overturned.
“Counsel in moving his application, and reading the motion and the affidavit, not much effort has gone into demonstrating how wrong the order of the court was. And with no exceptional circumstances canvassed before me, I decline this application,” the judge noted in his judgement of January 27, 2020, a copy of which was seen by our reporter.
The lawyer representing Dumo and others also asked the judge to further interpret the judgement of 23rd December, 2019 which stated as one of the preconditions that Dr. Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs should appoint two representatives who will represent her at the planning of the burial.
The court held that the order of 23rd December, 2019 “is self-explanatory, and needs no further clarification; more so, when both parties have taken issues with aspects of the order, and it is now the subject matter of an appeal and the invocation of the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. I should not appear to be shifting the goalpost so as to prejudice the appeal and the applications pending at the Supreme Court. Finding no need for clarification, I dismiss the application”
A Ghanaian High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, in December 2019 had ordered the release of the body of the late billionaire for burial.
READ: Lulu Briggs: Widow appeals as Court orders release of late billionaire’s body for burial
The order follows months of legal battle between Seinye and the three oldest sons of the deceased, led by Dumo over who is the rightful person to recover the body of the Late High Chief from the Enterprise Funeral Services Ghana Limited at Lashibi near Tema where it had been deposited since he passed away over a year ago.
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The court also took note of the widow’s claim that she would be subjected to cruel, inhumane or barbaric customary practices of the Kalabari people, if the body was sent to Nigeria for burial.
Accordingly, the court ordered that the family of the deceased, led by Dumo, provide an undertaking that they would not allow or suffer the widow to undergo any such cruel, inhumane or barbaric custom, reports Graphic Online.
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Dumo in his reaction to the decision of the court, through his spokesman, Sotonye Ijuaye Dagogo said , “Seinye has lost before and has lost this one too, she will definitely lose again by the grace of God who has been our strength and fortress through these harrowing times”.
However, Oraye St. Franklyn, the spokesman to Seinye claimed that the widow approached the court to stop it from giving further clarification on its judgement of December 23.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story mis-attributed information to the Oruwari Briggs Family. This has been corrected.
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