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General News Sat, 24 Jun 2006

High Court declares Chief's induction null and void

Accra, June 24, GNA - An Accra High Court presided over by Mr. Justice James Benson, has declared as null and void the induction on November 1, 2005, of Nii Odekpakpa King Odaifio Wulentsi III, as Nungua Mantse.

In its ruling last Thursday, the court explained that since the substantive case as to the rightful occupant of the Nungua Stool was pending at the Judicial Committee of the Greater-Accra Regional House of Chiefs, it was wrong for anyone to be inducted as a Chief.

The court, therefore, quashed the induction of Nii Wulentsi, a retired Army Officer and restrained the Ga Traditional Council (GTC) and its Acting President, Nii Adote Obour IV, from allowing Nii Wulentsi to take his seat at the Traditional Council as Nungua Mantse. The Court stated that it would be going beyond its constitutional mandate if it granted an application for an order of perpetual injunction filed on behalf of Nii Odai Ayiku IV, by Mr. Bright Akwetey, an Accra Lawyer to restrain Nii Wulentsi from holding himself as Nungua Mantse.

This, in the view of the Court, was tantamount to usurping the powers of the Judicial Committee of the Regional House of Chiefs, which had the sole statutory and constitutional mandate to exercise that right.

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In his application before the Court, counsel for Nii Wulentsi submitted that, it had no jurisdiction to investigate and make any pronouncement on the Nungua chieftaincy issue.

Counsel further submitted that the Court could not grant the relief being sought by Nii Ayiku, without first investigating and finding out whether his claim that he was the Nungua Mantse was legitimate. The Court was of the view that since the Judicial Committee of the House of Chiefs was the sole body that had the constitutional powers to thrash out chieftaincy disputes in the region, it would soon fix a date and go into the merits of the substantive Nungua Chieftaincy petition pending before it.

This, the Court hoped, would help bring absolute peace in the Traditional Area to ensure development. 24 June 06

Source: GNA
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