Regional News of Monday, 21 October 2013
Source: Graphic Online
The New Juaben Traditional Council has condemned the actions of 12 sub-chiefs who performed rituals claiming to destool the Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre (Professor Emeritus) Oti Boateng. They said in this age, a chief cannot be destooled by merely slaughtering a sheep. “It is important to note that these sub-chiefs are not kingmakers and, therefore, have no mandate or capacity whatsoever to enstool or destool the Omanhene of New Juaben,” a statement issued by members of the traditional council said.
On October 14, 2013, it was reported in the media that about 12 sub-chiefs of the New Juaben Traditional Area, led by the former Abesimhene, Nana Akwasi Adarkwa II, had announced that Daasebre Oti-Boateng had been destooled after they had performed the traditional rite of pouring libation, slaughtering a ram and invoking the oath of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
“The New Juaben Traditional Council completely dissociates itself from this dastardly and illegal conduct of the sub-chiefs,” the statement said, explaining that “in this modern day and age, a chief cannot be destooled by merely slaughtering a sheep, pouring libation or removing a chief’s sandals which are outmoded and antiquated practices”.
Additionally, the council stated that a chief could not be destooled through public demonstration, the beating of the gong-gong, invocation of an oath or public notification in the media, since those did not satisfy the legal and customary requirements of destoolment .
It said the conduct of the sub-chiefs contravened Section 40 Sub-section (1) of the Chieftaincy Act 2008 (Act 759) which states: “A person is not entitled under this act to institute proceedings for the deposition of a chief unless that person is entitled to do so under the customs of the area concerned.”
After emphasising that Daasebre Oti Boateng remained the substantive Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, the council cited Justice S. A. Brobbey in his book, “The Law of Chieftaincy in Ghana”, in which he noted that a chief could be destooled only through the preferment of destoolment charges against him by the majority of the kingmakers, investigation into the destoolment charges, compliance with the rules of natural justice and when the actual customary process of destoolment had been performed.
“The notion by the said sub-chiefs, who are not kingmakers, that they can merely pour libation, slaughter a sheep and invoke the Otumfuo’s Great Oath to destool the Omanhene of New Juaben is not informed by legal rules and practices of destoolment but rather out of ignorance of the law or a deliberate attempt to throw dust into the public eyes to cause unnecessary disturbances,” it said.
The council pointed out that the Omanhene of New Juaben did not swear an oath of allegiance to any chief beyond the boundaries of New Juaben, adding, “We wish to inform the public that Asanteman and New Juabenman are related by blood of consanguinity and that this cordial blood relationship could not be broken by anybody, since blood is thicker than water.”
It said the conduct of the sub-chiefs had the intent of causing fear, panic and mayhem in the New Juaben Traditional Area and, therefore, constituted a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Ghana, for which reason certain chiefs in the area had reported the conduct of the sub-chiefs to the police.
The council, therefore, called on the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs to mount an extensive national education on the process of enstoolment and enskinment, as well as destoolment and deskinment of chiefs in the country.