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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A Murder in the Colonial Gold Coast: Law and Politics in the 1940's
Author:Rathbone, RichardISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
Akim polity
ritual murder
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Law, Human Rights and Violence
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/182918
Abstract:This article looks at a murder case which resulted from allegations of 'ritual murder' in the course of Nana Sir Ofori Atta's final funeral rites in Akyem Abuakwa, Ghana, in 1944. At the level of the Akyem State, the accusations came from an affronted section within the polity, the Amantow Mmiensa, who had been defeated by the Stool in the course of the 1932-1933 disturbances arising from the Native Administration Revenue Ordinance but whose grievances against the Okyenhene (king of Akyem) were of greater antiquity. The accused were all descendants of past kings of Akyem. At the level of the Gold Coast State, the case provided an arena for some of the best lawyers in the country to use their mastery of colonial law to challenge the legal and hence colonial establishment both in Accra and in London. The article argues that the case poisoned relations between Dr J.B. Danquah, Akyem's most distinguished politician-lawyer and the inspiration behind the defence case, and the colonial establishment in Accra so much that the constructive relationship between some of the intelligentsia and the Governor before 1944 was destroyed. Notes, ref.