General News of 2014-03-18

Nkwantanang Chief floors Okyenhene in court

The Koforidua High Court has prohibited the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, and the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council from taking any step that will amount to the destoolment of Barima Adanse Akyem Omane I as chief of Nkwantanang.

The court also quashed a decision of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council that appointed Opanin Kofi Kyei to act as the regent of Nkwantanang.

This followed a motion filed by Barima Adanse Akyem Omane for an order of certiorari and prohibition to restrain the Okyenhene from taking any uncustomary step with the intention of destooling him as chief of Nkwantanang.

Ruling

In its ruling, the court, presided over by Mr Justice Kossi Efo Kaglo, observed that in both case law and expert opinion, the action by the Okyenhene and the traditional council was unlawful.

Citing from “The Law of Chieftaincy in Ghana”, written by Mr Justice S. A. Brobbey, a Supreme Court Judge, the court made it clear, quoting the learned judge, as saying that “the installation of a chief is a matter for the people and kingmakers . . . if that were not the case, power will be given to a force outside the people to select a chief for them”.

It also cited a reported Supreme Court ruling, which held that “The power to destool a chief was a customary right, vested in the kingmakers who alone had the power to make a chief and install or to destool a chief”, and quoted the court as declaring that “the traditional council has no jurisdiction to destool or order the destoolment of a chief”.

The court awarded costs of GH¢1,000 in favour of Barima Adanse Akyem Omane.

Background

The gist of a 15-paragraph affidavit that accompanied the motion was that although Barima Adanse Akyem Omane was the substantive chief of Nkwantanang, the respondents purported to have written a letter appointing Opanin Kofi Kyei to act as the regent of the town.

To Barima Adanse Akyem Omane, a regent is appointed when there is no substantive chief, adding that since he is alive, the traditional council cannot in both law and custom appoint any person as a regent.

According to the affidavit, the respondents had no jurisdiction to appoint a regent, which indirectly amounts to destooling the applicant.

Source: graphic.com.gh
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