In the midst of a legal standoff surrounding the funeral rites of the late Founder and General Overseer of the Resurrection Power New Generation Church, Rev. Anthony Kwadwo Boakye, lawyer Anokye Frimpong has shed light on the constitutional context pertaining to the ongoing brouhaha.
The funeral arrangements of the late Rev. Boakye have been hit with two court injunctions, prompting lawyer Anokye Frimpong to clarify the rights and responsibilities concerning such ceremonies.
According to him, the constitution dictates that only the family head of the deceased holds the authority to decide the guest list and make all arrangements concerning the funeral.
Speaking in an interview on Angel News on August 3, 2023, he explained that the late pastor’s wife and children have no say in the arrangements, except for the family head.
He emphasized that once a person passes away, their possessions and funeral arrangements become the responsibility of the family, with the family head taking charge.
“If someone dies, the moment the person is no more, all his properties no longer belong to him, even though they used to be his/hers when he/she was alive.
“So, we don’t say, ‘like the late Kwadwo Mensah’s properties,’ but we say, ‘the late Kwadwo Mensah’s estate.’ Similarly, when someone dies, their body, funeral, or place of burial is not the responsibility of the wife or the children.
“When someone dies, their body, funeral, and everything related to them belongs to the family, specifically the head of the family (Abusuapanyin, who is in charge), and not to the wife or children.
“This kind of case has been to court thousands of times all around the world. There is a common principle we all follow called common law,” he said.
Explaining further, the lawyer added that any “death wish” or instructions given by the deceased regarding his funeral arrangements or inheritance is not legally enforceable because such authority lies with the family head and principal members of the extended family system.
“So sometimes, you hear people saying that the deceased person instructed not to be buried here or there, or that certain people shouldn’t attend their funeral, we call these things a ‘death wish.’ People used to say that when they die, a certain person should inherit their belongings. All these statements are considered a death wish. According to the law, nobody can appoint their successor after their death, and nobody can dictate who should or shouldn’t attend their funeral.
“Only the family head and the principal members of the family are the ones to decide who should come to the funeral or not. The reality is that only one person can decide anything about a deceased person, and that person is the family head of the deceased (Abusuapanyin).”
He added “The kind of family I am talking about is the extended family system, not the nuclear family. I mean the family to which the late Reverend or the wife belonged before they married; the family that escorted him to the lady’s place to go and marry her. That is the family I am talking about, so the family head of that family is the only person who can decide in this case. And if it was the death of the woman, her family to which she belonged before her marriage, the family head is the one who can decide.
“The children are not part of the said family, and the wife is not part either.”
A High Court has placed an injunction on the funeral of Rev. Anthony Kwadwo Boakye.
The funeral, slated for Saturday, August 5, 2023, has been injuncted by the court after the widow of the late pastor, Margaret Boakye, sought its interpretation on the matter.
The late Rev. Anthony Boakye died on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, after a protracted illness, following which there were a number of issues between the widow, his family, and his church.
One of such issue happened during the One-Week Ceremony of the late pastor at the church premise, where his widow was prevented from attending.
Since then, the widow filed a writ at the Kumasi High Court, demanding among other things that the funeral slated for August 5, be injuncted.
She also sought the court’s blessing to authenticate her marriage to the late pastor, and for this reason, she should be given the right to perform all the widowhood rights in accordance with traditions.
Similarly, the funeral has been hit by another injunction.
This time, an interlocutory injunction has been slapped on the funeral.
This is contained in documents from the court, made available to GhanaWeb, after the parties cited in the writ: the church, some family members of the late pastor, and children of the late pastor, filed appearance in the case on Thursday, August 3, 2023.