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Regional News of Thursday, 22 February 2007

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Fievie Traditional Council's press conference

PRESS CONFERENCE

HELD JOINTLY ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, BY THE FIEVIE TRADITIONAL COUNCIL HEADED BY TOGBE AHLI (II) AND TOGBE AHADZI DODO (V) AND THE ANYIGBE CLAN OF THE AGAVE STATE.

VENUE: ALISA HOTEL TIME: 11am

Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, Good Morning. As you may be aware, there was a purported installation of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana as Development Chief of Sogakope in the Fievie Traditional Area on the 30th January 2007 and was immediately destooled symbolically by the Fievie Traditional Council.

This press conference is called by us to explain to you and the general public of Ghana events leading to the said installation and our reasons of symbolically destooling the Vice President and later developments which would endanger the peace of the area should central Government fail to set up a proper INVESTIGATING BODY acceptable to the Fievie Traditional Council to go into all matters concerning Sogakofe which was originally ANAGBONU and after called JOHN MILLER so as to abate the usurpation to the traditional authority of the Fievie Traditional Council. Fievie territories were amongst the first, which constituted the then Gold Coast. During the Gold Coast period, the Ga’s always stop at Fievie during their journeys to and fro Anechor before commemorating their Homowor Festival.

Sogakofe was then a settlement of the then settler Soga Blacksmith, a Ga Adangbe from Nakonukofe near Sege-Ada. It was named after John Miller who was the contractor who constructed the road from Accra linking Sogakofe through Aflao. Togbe Woyome, Togbe Sagada, Kudzo Agbamekpetor and the then Fievie Traditional Council granted the right of entry of the road.

1). The grounds on which the Vice President was enstooled as Development Chief of Sogakofe is ALIEN to the Fievie Traditional Council: anybody, that is enstooled as a Development Chief in the traditional area must have helped in the development of any settlement of the traditional area and must have done such development from his own resources or private funding or being instrumental in bringing constructive change in the lives of the people through private mobilization of private resources.

2). The enstoolment of any chief, whether development or NOT is done by Togbe Ahadzi Dodo sitting in consultation with the requisite traditional king makers of the Fievie State.

3). The Fievie Traditional Council has the SOLE PREROGATIVE of conferring Developmental Chief on any person.

4). The stool name conferred on the Vice President of Ghana is an insult and an affront to the Fievie state i.e. the name Avulekpor means Dog caught leopard. The Founder of Fievie Land and the Ana state, Togbe Akalo was the one who caught a leopard bare-handed; an act which we the Anas reveres during our festivals and during swearing of oaths.

Avulekpor infers, the so-called Avudzegah has caught the Anas. The Anas are the people of Duffor and the Fievie.

5). In a letter dated 18th April 2005 from the office of the Fiaga Zikpuitor of the Fievie Traditional Area addressed to the Minister of interior copied to the then National Security co-ordinator, the Minister of Local Government I.G.P., the DISEC of Sogakoge, the REGSEC of Ho, the Chairman Regional House of Chiefs all Fievie Chiefs/Divisional chiefs of Tongu and Abotsi Doe Diameh and signed by the following: Fiaga (Zikpuitor) the stool father of Amegafeme, Hlotator (Head of Clan) Aheto Kpeglah of Afegame and Dumega (Head of the State) Togbe Ahadzi Dodo of Afevieme, Togbe Ku Agbi of Amegafeme, Zikpuitor Awudi Sagada of Awagafeme. The letter was headed ABOTSI DOE DIAMEH A.K.A. TOGBE AVUDZEGAH SOGAH, is NOT A CHIEF OF SOGAKOFE NOR TRADITIONAL RULER IN THE FIEVIE TRADITIONAL AREA, explained explicitly the nature and character of Abotsi Doe Diameh and that he does not hail from the Sogah family; that he is an usurper, an Ex-Convict and was appointed by a chief called Togbe Zogah of Sogakpoe, merely as the Head of the Sokpoe people residing at Sogakope.

The argument of Abotsi Doe Diameh that he has been gazetted is neither here nor there, that gazetting was fraudulently acquired through the help of the Registrar of the volta Regional House of Chief with the help of his lawyer. (He was not nominated elected and installed as a chief by the people of Fievie as required by law). Mr.E.K. Amesimeku (who was latter appointed by the present administration as Ghana’s ambassador to Benin) through a letter from the Ameyi Chambers dated 4th August 1995 to the District Chief. Executive of South Tongu District and with Ref. T.E.K./T.A.S/M.I.S.C-26/95 and copied to the Regional Minister of Volta (Ho) the Registrar Volta Reg. house of Chiefs, the District police officerSouth Tongu, Officer-In-Charge BNI and subsequently he was gazetted as Dufia of Sogakofe in the Fievie Traditional Area with serial No.2292 on 2nd November, 1994.

We got to know of this in 2006 in a DISEC meeting in Sogakofe and subsequently investigated the reason for the gezetting. Our research revealed that Mr. Abotsi, Doe Diameh went to court, the Superior Court of Judicature of Appeal, Accra, Ghana presided over by Justice Amoah sitting together with Justice Brobbey and Justice Forster in Civil Appeal Case No.23 of 1992 and judgement obtained on 23rd July 1993 in the case entitled

The Republic Vrs 1). The National house of Chiefs 2).Togbe Agamah Amattah IV “the then paramount Chief of Fievie Traditional Area”. 3). Awuku Gbevlo Agamah 4).S.G.A. Ahortor 5). The Volta Reg. House of Chiefs as RESPONDENTS Ex-parte; Togbe Abotsi Doe, Diameh as APPLICANT/APPELLANTS: he sought to quash a High Court Judgment held in Accra

The authority of the Fievie State, over Sogakope is not in dispute since; same was confirmed by a Supreme Court decision in favour of the Fievie State as far back as 1968.

There has been a lot of instances where the said Abotsi Doe Diameh has interfered in Sogakope land matters and is quick to join court cases as co-defendant when ever trespassers on Fievie land are sued by the Fievie State.

In further defiance of the Supreme Court Ruling of 1968, Abotsi Doe Diameh’s Cohorts/Land guards namely: -1). Kwame Dahunor 2). Godson Agbi 3). Thomas Agbi 4). Kwakuvi Agbi 5). Seth Agbi, have been selling Fievie lands.

On 12th day of April 1984 Suit No.107/81 in the matter of The Republic Vrs 1) The National House of Chiefs. 2) Togbe Agamah Amattah IV 3) Awuku Gbevlo Agamah 4) S.G.A. AHORTOR as RESPONDENTS EX-PARTE: Togbe Abotsi Doe Diameh; Togbe Abotsi Doe Diameh Lost. The Court maintained that the destoolment of Kwasi Dor Kumah II, Fia of Sogakofe who hails from the Sogah Family MATERNALLY and was the first defendant in the Supreme Court Judgment of 1968 Court Case No.S.C. Civil Appeal No.11 was LEGAL

In the judgement of 23rd July 1993, case NO 23 of 1992 of the Court of Appeal ruled: quote “I would allow the appeal and set aside the decision of Hayfron J I would further order the Nat. House of Chiefs to retain the name of Togbe Kwasi Dor Kumah II as the Fia of Sogakofe UNTIL and UNLESS he is properly declared destooled in accordance with CUSTOM OR by the APPROPRIATE CHIEFTAINCY TRIBUNAL” signed S.A. Brobbey Justice of Appeal and agreed to by Justices. Amoah and A.A. Forster The Respondents were not served and therefore were not in court.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media the said judgment was obtained when Togbe Kwasi Dor Kumah II was DECEASED when the Fievie Traditional Council, learnt of the existence of this judgment the principal Kingmakers headed by Togbe Ahadzi Dodo V took the appropriate customary measures and properly DESTOOLED the DECEASED Togbe Kwasi Dor Kumah II and made a declaration in Sogakofe dated 19th September, 2006 to that effect and same was distributed to All institutions concerned which included All appropriate State Security institutions, ministries, the Reg. House of Chiefs and the National House of Chiefs.

The Fievie Traditional Council through various declarations has always maintained and pointed out the fact that the said Abotsi Doe Diameh was an usurper and was not the chief of Sogakope a part from the fact that he is not a native of Fievie and has never been installed as a chief.

Judging from the above it is VERY STRANGE that Mr. Abotsi Doe Diameh could be gazetted by the registrar of the Volta Reg. House of Chiefs in substitution to a dead, destooled Chief who he has no relation with paternally. It is interesting to know that Mr. Abotsi Doe-Diame metamorphosed to become a founding member of N.P.P in Sogakope.

It is very strange to find Government institution like the District Assembly recognizing such a fraudulent gazette, which was done without any research and upon persistent protest from the Fievie people.

The Volta Regional Minister Hon. Kofi Dzameshie called on to Adom FM. And claimed that the gazette was proper and well researched. The fraudulent nature of the said gazetting would have been found if the Minister had done any research.

The Aides of the Vice President have also stated persistently on various media that the gazetting was proper, we wish to categorically state that the gazetting of a person does not make him a chief if he has not been nominated, elected and installed as a chief by the accredited kingmakers of the area. Ladies and gentlemen of the media, you can deduce from the evidence we have provided that such assertions by government functionaries are completely untrue and without basis.

It is of much regret for us to state that these functionaries of Government are dragging the government into Chieftaincy issues, which the 1992 Constitution frowns upon.

After the symbolic destoolment of the Vice President by the Fievie Traditional Council as Development Chief Mr. Abotsi Doe Diameh has set up physical attacks on some Fievie Citizens, the latest being the ambushing of Mr. Awuku Nukpenu, who is the Dumega of Sogakofe. Barely 72 hours after the destoolment of Togbe Avulekpor Sogah 1 (H. E. the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama), Mr. Abotsi Doe Diameh (Togbe Avudzegah Sogah 1”) made some of his cohorts to ambush Mr. Awuku Nukpenu (the Headman of Sogakofe Township). Mr. Awuku Nukpenu was on his way to Dendo when his attackers forcefully took his motorbike away from him.

At that same time, Mr. Abotsi Doe Diameh was lodging a complaint with the Sogakofe police to the effect that Awuku Nukpenu was planning to have him assassinated at Volta View Hotel.

The fact of Mr. Abotsi Doe Diameh’s allegation was that, the very morning Mr. Awuku Nukpenu went to the Volta View Hotel to pick the Surveyor of the Fievie Lands Secretariat to Mafi Asiekpe and spent Less than 5 minutes when agents of Abotsi Doe Diameh went to the BNI Director and made the false allegation of assassination attempt.

Subsequently, the BNI Director quickly went to the Volta View Hotel and found that the allegation was false and called Awuku Nukpenu and ascertained that he was with the surveyor at Mafi Asiekpe in the company of other witnesses.

Abotsi Doe Diameh attempted to lodge this complaint at the local police station at Sogakofe as Awuku Nukpenu was being ambushed at around 4.00 o’clock on Friday 2nd February 2007. The police refused to take the complaint on the basis that his allegation was untrue since the BNI Director earlier on investigated it in the morning. Mr. Abotsi Doe Diameh went to the District Commander of police (Mr. Hlordzi) who compelled his officers to take the case.

The BNI director heard about the ambush of Dumega Awuku Nukpenu and called him to ascertain whether he was safe and alive. Awuku Nukpenu explained to the BNI Director that he had escaped and was with Togbe Adze of Dendo, he therefore advised him to remain put and pass the night there, which he did.

The next day, Saturday 3rd February, 2007 at about 9.30 a.m. Awuku Nukpenu went to the police station in Sogakofe to lodge the ambush case and found out that his motor-bike which was forcefully taken from him was brought back to the police station at Sogakofe. The police refused to take his complaint and rather asked him to produce his papers on the motorbike and threatened to detain him. On the same night of Friday 2nd February 2007 a certain group of assailants went to the cottage of Awuku Nukpenu, thinking he was there and fired eight rounds of rifle, which was reported by surrounding neighbours.

It was only after the intervention of the BNI director that the complaint was taken. Ladies and gentlemen of the media, we will not like to bore you with the details of the all the criminal activities of Abotsi Doe Diameh all over the years on the people of Sogakofe of the Fievie state.

These activities are captured on the appendix “A” attached. On appendix “B” is a brief summary of his other activities where he metamorphosed from one stool name to the other.

It is interesting for you to know that Abotsi Doe Diameh who is an ex-convict – (refer Appendix C) derives his support from the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana H.E Alhaji Aliu Mahama as confirmed in the Vice President comments on the 30th of January 2007 during the activities of his illegal enstoolment in the house of Abotsi Doe Diameh (this house he seized forcefully from his paternal cousins) when he said that this visit was his third official visit to Abotsi Doe Diameh. Hitherto he had been paying private visits to him.

He derives some of his support from the Sogakofe police under D.S.P. Hlordzi who on several occasions refused to investigate or cause to investigate criminal charges on the activities of Abotsi Doe Diameh and insists that these cases must go to court as civil cases.

It is worth noting that the Chiefs who attended the said installation were from Battor, Mepe, Aveyime, Mafi Kumasi and NO LEGITIMATE Chief from AGAVE TRADITIONAL AREA nor FIEVIE TRADITIONAL AREA was present.

The Vice President, government agencies and the general public were advised through a Press Release which was carried on all radio networks and on the internet of the Fievie Traditional Council meeting held on 27th of January 2007 in Sogakofe when the Council advised the Vice President not to include his installation in his official duty of sod-cutting of the Sogakofe Adidome portion of Sogakofe Ho road.

In a letter dated 1st February, 2007 by the Fievie Traditional Council to the following Abotsi Doe Diameh alias Avudzegah Sogah 1, Mr. Kofi Sogah, Mr. Awuku Nukpenu (Headman) all state and Chieftaincy institutions and Togbe Dugbor II Chief of Sogakofe banned Abotsi Doe Diameh from beating gong gong in Sogakofe in his name.

We state categorically that the installation of the Vice President was done under duress when President Kufour had traveled to Addis-Ababa to attend the AU Conference.

The Vice President actually brought hundreds of police officers drawn from Ho, Keta, Akatsi Denu and the two Tongu Districts to the Sogakofe Township to prevent the Chiefs of the Fievie Traditional Area and the Anyigbe Clan of Agave Traditional Area from presenting their protest of his installation as development chief to the D.C.E. of South Tougu.

The police actually confronted the Fievie Traditional authorities to distance themselves from the grounds of the ceremony since they declared it as security zone.

It is also a known fact that one order was given for the arrest of Awuku Nukpenu only to be rescinded when it was impressed upon the issuer by the local security personnel that the directive could breach the peace of Sogakofe that day.

We want to state emphatically here that we the people of Fievie in the South Tongu District are peace-loving people BUT when forced, especially within lack of central government agencies constitutional role; we shall be FORCED to defend ourselves and protect our heritage.

We will also want to emphasize that this issue must never be regarded as political since the activities of Abotsi Doe Diameh started from the P.N.D.C. era to-date.

Abotsi Doe Diameh’s incarceration in Kpando was not political but criminal and occurred during the early part of the Acheampong regime.

We thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the media for having the patience to listen to our side of the story.

APPENDIX ‘A’

ACTIVITIES OF MR. DOE ABOTSI DIAMEH (ALIAS: AVUDZEGA SOGA 1)

1) THREAT OF LIFE OF MR. AWUKU NUKPENU when he was asked to deliver a letter of protest to Abotsi Doe Diame on the vandalization of a tenant’s pipe.

2) Shooting of Mr. Awuku Nkupenu’s son by Inspector Dzane (Isaac) on the 21/09/2004, Bullets and the picture of the incident presented to the police at Sogakofe. A letter dated 28th September 2004 from the Fievie lands secretariat to the commander, monitoring and inspection unit of Ghana police Accra and copied to the then Inspector General of Police signed by Agbenu Monney Woyome and Awuku Nukpenu entitled report on inaction of Sogakofe Police was investigated and no action taken to date.

3) Disappearance of Mr. Godwin Nukpenu, Mr. Awuku Nukpenu’s son.

4) Beating of Mr. Agbenu Monney Woyome on the 20th September 2004 and the destruction of cement blocks and materials on site by Abotsi’s land guards. – Avudzegah land guards members:

Thomas Agbi, Seth Agbi, Nicholas Kpobi, Godson Kuti Agbi, Moses Gordor, Akumani Gordor, Kwame Amedzo, G.Y. Yardor, Nanedo Hunor, Dotse Torvor, Kwame Ziadjor

5) Mob attack on Mr. Awuku Nukpenu on a land alleged to be police reserved land amid firing of weapons by the mob.

6) Mob threat on some executives of the Fievie land secretariat at a District Security Council. Convened meeting on September 21st 2004. An invitation to discuss compensation payment to land owners.

Government Officials and people present at meeting of 21st October 2004 D.S.P. (Samuel Lartey), BNI officer, Reg. lands officer, Reg. Valuer

The Presiding member, South Tonga District Assembly, Mr. Abotsi Doe Diameh. Mr. Abotsi Doe Diameh should not have been at that meeting, as he does not own any land.

7) Slashing of Mr. Solomon Hodanu’s son (Richard Hodanu) A Power of Attorney holder of Fievie state in respect of Fievie Tribal Lands.

8) Arrest of a Thief who broke into a clinic at Denu and made away with some items. This thief was apprehended by Mr. Awuku Nukpenu and sent to the Sogakofe police station. At the station, Awuku Nukpenu was slapped and at the invitation by the superintendent Samuel Lartey a mob attached Awuku Nukpenu. He went there in the company of Mr. Kofi Atakli and Togbe Gbadawu IV of Adutor. Members of the mob included Inspector Bright Hukporti, Inspector Salah, a police driver, Mr. Emmanuel Agamah then Assembly member. Dzamesie Alex, Kofi sogah, Kwasivi Klome, Cudjoe (Mortuary man at District Hospital) Gbeda Agbeshie, Atubu Kumah. Thomas Agbi, Seth Agbi, Nicholas Kpobi, Godson Kuti Agbi, Moses Gordor, Akumani Gordor, Kwame Amedzo, G.Y. Yardor, Nanedo Hunor, Dotse Torvor, Kwame Ziadjor

9). Beating of bailiffs at Kpobikofe Agorkpo, who came to execute a forfeit notice after the Kpobi family prevented the burial of Lisa Dadzezor a native of Fievie state whose body was in the morgue for 3 years. Judgment and costs were given in favour of Mr. Solomon Hodanu. The Kpobi family had Mr. Doe Abortsi Diameh as a witness. The forfeit notice was to be executed on their refusal to pay costs to the tune of thirty seven million, seven hundred and eighty nine thousand (¢37,789.00 million). The Bailiffs and some policemen were beaten in the presence of supt. Samuel Lartey. Until today, the beaten bailiffs have not had justice.

10. Arrest and prosecution of Mr. Awuku Nukpenu at a magistrate’s court at Akatsi by the District Assembly and a land guard. The magistrate advised that the two parties should consult the landowners and the plaintiffs have since refused to do so nor continue the prosecution. Some members of the police side included chief Inspector Boadi, Sgt. Klutse, Insp. Doe of Dabala (Rtd.), PWD building inspector Ahorgah.

11. In a civil case presided over by Justice N.A. Ollennu judge of Supreme Court Case No.S.C. Civil Appeal No.11 of 1965, Isaac Woyome. 2) Paul Hodanu 3) Ziatum Sagada 4) Agbotadua Atakli for themselves and on behalf of the Fievie family as PLAINTIFFS – RESPONDENTS versus:

1) Headman Ahadzi Agbomasu

2) Kwasi Dor Kumah

3) Amedzo Agamah

4) Akoto Agormeda as DEFENDANT-APPELLANTS for which judgment was entered in favour Isaac Woyome and three others in the supreme court of Ghana in 1968 and the Fievie family: Abotsi Doe Diameh who claims to be descendant of Kwasi Dor Kumah continually flouts the Noble Court Order for which a contempt Court Case has been instituted for the past six or seven years and files on the case keep on getting missing any time the date is fixed for hearing.

During the construction of the Tema-Sogakofe road he illegally signed a contract with Daewoo to win gravel at Awusakpe-Galleykofe village in the Fievie state for which the Fievie land secretariat wrote in a letter ref. F.L.S/G.W/2005/01 to the then Minister of Roads and highways copied all security agencies, Minister of Interior, District Assembly, and Daewoo company advising them to deal with the Fievie state, this has not been needed to. The letter to the then Minister of Roads and Transport was replied with a letter dated 29/4/2005 Ref. SCR/MRT/TR.52 entitled AUTHORITY FOR RIGHT of Entry (Winning of Gravel from Galleykofe and Awusakpe-Fievie Burrow pits) and signed by Chief Director J. Osei-Asamoah for the Minister and copied to the chief Executive Ghana Highway Authority.

APPENDIX ‘B’

BACKGROUND INFORMATION Kwasi Dor Kumah was claiming ownership of Sogakofe land. The Fievie people through their power of attorney holders headed by Mr. Isaac Woyome challenged this claim; they finally won this case in 1965/68 Supreme Court judgment. Inspite of this ruling Kwasi Dor Kumah was still holding himself as chief of Sogakofe. Kwasi Dor Kumah’s position as a chief was challenged by Togbe Agama Amata IV up to the National House of Chiefs, Kumasi and his gazette as a chief of Sogakofe was revoked.

A management committee was formed to oversee the administration of Sogakofe town. On the death of Kwasi Dor Kumah, the man Doe Diame Abotsi came from nowhere calling himself as chief of Sogakofe under the stool name Togbe Abotsi Doe Diame. He claimed he was customarily enstooled by the Paramount chief of Sokpoe Traditional Area.

Fiator Awuku Gbevlo Agama challenged this man Togbe Abotsi Doe Diame position as a chief of Sogabofe from Denu Circuit Court through to Ho High court. This case was not determined before the sudden death of Fiator Awuku Gbevlo Agama.

While challenging Doe Diame Abotsi’s position as a chief of Sogakofe, the king makers of Fievie Traditional Area with the support of Togbe Agama Amatta IV and Togbe Dagadu III elected and installed Togbe Dugbor II as chief of Sogakofe.

On hearing this information, Togbe Abotsi Doe Diame started changing his stool name as stated below:

1) Togbe Abotsi Doe Diame 2) Togbe Soga Foe I 3) Togbe Avudzega Soga I

This man Avudzega Soga I came out to threaten Togbe Dugbor II not to hold himself as Chief of Sogakofe. This threat up to this day is haunting Togbe Dugbor II and for that matter he is finding it difficult to conduct himself as a chief.

This man Avudzega Soga I once organized a demonstration in Sogakofe town claiming ownership to Sogakofe land.

During that demonstration, he organized some of the demonstrators to sack away all Fievie citizens in Sogakofe including eminent citizen like Amega Kwasi Akpla now deceased.

The power of attorney holders of Fievie took up the case to the then D.C.E. in person of Mr. C.K. Sackley. A committee was set by the South Tongu District Assembly to look into the case. The committee came out with its report acknowledging Fievie people as the lawful owners of Sogakofe land.

APPENDIX C

NAME: ABOTSI DIAMEH

CHARGES OF OFFENCE: UNDER PROTECTIVE CUSTODY

BROUGHT FROM: JASIKAN

DATE OF IMPRISONMENT: 18TH JANUARY 1972

DATE OF RELEASE: 4TH MAY 1974

PLACE OF IMPRISONMENT: KPANDO

ABOTSI DIAMEH WAS AMONGST THE FIVE PEOPLE ARRESTED DURING THE ACHEAMPONG REGIME AS GANG LEADERS IN COCOA SMUGGLING INTO TOGO IN THE JASIKAN AREA AND PLACED UNDER PROTECTIVE CUSTODY AND RELEASED UNDER CLEMENCY BY THE THEN COL.I. K. ACHEAMPONG.

PROGRAMME FOR A PRESS CONFERENCE OF THE FIEVIE TRADITIONAL COUNCIL ON THURSDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2007 11:00AM AT ALISA HOTELS, NORTH-RIDGE

? 10:30 - Arrival of the Press - Arrival of Chiefs and Delegates - Welcome Address - by Kofi Atakli - Reading of Press Statement – by Togbe Ahli (II) - Questions and Answers - Closing Remark/Vote of Thanks – by Kofi Atakli - Refreshment and Departure

MC – Kofi Atakli/Cephas Hodanu 024 9 271 982/024 4 362 764

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