The Accra District Magistrate Court on Monday ordered the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the National Security to release the passport of Vanetta Fosua Opoku, to enable her to travel back to the USA.
Ms. Opoku, a Ghanaian based in the USA, was detained at the Kotoka International Airport and her passport seized by the GIS upon her arrival on October 12, 2020, following an ex-parte order obtained by her husband, Raymond Yankey Blay, a USA citizen, who currently lives in Ghana.
Blay and Ms. Opoku are in court over a case for custody, child support, and protection that had already been settled by the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Civil Action, Law on June 22, 2012.
It was his case that Ms Opoku had denied him access to his children and that her conduct breaches the rights of the child to father and general welfare, social protection, and care guaranteed under the Children’s Act of Ghana.
The applicant claimed that he made a provision of about $400 monthly for the upkeep of his children, and the respondent had no basis to deny him access to the children.
His counsel, Xavier Sosu contended that Ms. Opoku caused the children who were then staying with her parents and schooling, to leave Ghana for the USA, after she was served with the court’s order.
Mr Sosu said that the orders of the court could only be set aside if the alleged contemnor purged herself of the criminal charge by producing the children, who are currently in the USA.
In her affidavit in opposition to vacate the earlier order of the court given on October 19, 2016, Ms Opoku stated that the plaintiff had threatened her in America and he was arrested and prosecuted and given a three months probation order.
Her counsel, Mr Vincent Aikins, said that Blay had been abusing the children, of which the defendant lodged a complaint, as a result, the plaintiff was given supervisory visitation.
Mr Aikins said that Blay came to Ghana, married to another woman, without dissolving the marriage with Ms Opoku, adding that the plaintiff and his new wife call his client on the phone and rain insults at her.
The lawyer told the court that the plaintiff refused to honor the child support of the children, and as of October 2016 fallen into arrears to the tune of US$ 17,884.37 and still refused to honor the same till date at a monthly payment of US$707.20.