Wa flogging: ‘I’m happy; the customary laws must work’ – Maurice Ampaw

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Private legal practitioner, Maurice Ampaw, has expressed delight in the flogging of lovers sighted in a viral video engaging in sexual acts.

His satisfaction with the action taken against the sex offenders was occasioned by the call on the general public to stop the spread of nude content in the public space.

Contrary to the call, however, a couple was sighted having an amorous relationship in a video that went viral on social media.

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The lovers, apparently in their 30s, were then subjected to whips in the glare of the public in an open area believed to be the forecourt of their chief’s palace–the overlord of Wa traditional area in the Upper West Region.

A crime officer in the region, Chief Superintendent Reynolds Manteaw, earlier condemned the act because it was an instance of “instant justice” which is contrary to the laws of the country.

According to the Police officer, the right process was to report to the police about the alleged offence for the law enforcement agency to investigate and refer to the courts for a determination to be made as to whether or not the suspects are guilty.

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But in his reaction on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofoↄ morning show on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, Lawyer Ampaw argued that the 1992 constitution of Ghana allows for customary laws which govern the traditional communities.

Thus, he was pleased that the woman was punished for her actions.

“For the video, I’m not happy with it, but the whipping of the lady is what pleases me because we don’t need to publish nude things” Lawyer Ampaw admitted.

“Under Article 11 of the 1992 constitution the laws of Ghana are not only the constitution and acts of Parliament, but the laws of Ghana also include our traditional beliefs, systems and practices. That’s what we call customary law. And it also includes our religious beliefs and practices…

“So, if a community believes that when you go naked and engage in such acts and video yourself such that it comes to the public domain, it violates their customary laws, then they have the right to apply sanctions these laws provide. That’s what our law says. It is a constitutional provision,” Mr Ampaw argued.

He however expressed concerns that the victims of the public flogging may not have been given a fair hearing before facing the punishment meted out to them.

“The only problem was that I wanted the girl to go through the traditional hearing for the traditional authorities to take up the matter and question the woman on her action.”

Meanwhile, he has called on the traditional authorities to return to the enforcement of the customary laws to ensure discipline in society.

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