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Opinions of Saturday, 6 June 2020

Columnist: Kofi Asiamah Asare

Effah Dartey misleading authority about Akuapem history

The history of Akuapem is well documented and very clear, with precedents and a lot of legal interpretations. I am surprised that Lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Dartey who represented the petitioners in the case will write an article to mislead every reader as he did in an earlier article he is proud to refer to.
(Article published on page 59 of the Daily Graphic of January 15th, 2018. Entitled “Earthquake in Akuapem – The inside story”).

My reaction is based again on how Lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Dartey draws his conclusions and claims to draw on history. I shall quote portions of his article and address the issues that are prominent in his conclusions.
Assertions made by Nkrabea Effah Dartey

1. Lawyer Nkrabea Effah Dartey writes, ‘The Banmuhene continued that all the royals in Akropong understand this so well that now there is absolutely no controversy that the next king must come from Sakyibea House.’
This is not in contention and is even supported by LI 32 and deduced from a Judgement by the Regional House of Chiefs in 1975. All the parties in the petition and Akuapem in general accept this and have abided by this.

2. Lawyer Nkrabea Effah Dartey further writes …. ‘Now the custom is that when it is the turn of a ruling house to produce a King or Queenmother, every ruling house has the most senior elderly female member, officially installed as such, called Abrewatia whose duty it is to make the nomination, send it to the Queenmother who then acts as a conveyor belt to carry the name to the eleven Asona kingmakers (including herself) to accept or reject the nomination.’
This is very far from the truth, and Lawyer Nkrabea Effah Dartey is aware of the Judgement of 30th April, 2020.

3. How he defines the Judgement of 30th April, 2020 is shocking and writes...‘Immediately after the judgment which simply was that it is the Abrewatia who nominates, all the eight kingmakers stormed the palace of the queen mother at Akropong that they wanted a nomination from the Abrewatia.’
An extract of Page 29, of the Judgement delivered on 30th April, 2020 has been quoted below.

‘Wherefore Nananom find in conclusion that: The Petitioner has the capacity to initiate this instant proceeding. In Akropong Akuapem there is a title afforded the Royal matriarch of a Ruling House and that is Abrewatia. That all

3 Ruling Houses have their distinct well known Abrewatia. That Lily Agyemang, the Petitioner is the Abrewatia of the Royal Sakyiabea House. That nominating a candidate to occupy the Ofori Kuma Stool is a consultative process. That to validly nominate a candidate the Abrewatia of the Ruling House, whose turn it is to produce a candidate must select an eligible Royal and submit the name of the Royal to the Asonahene to be sent to the Queenmother.
That in nominating a candidate the Queenmother alone cannot select a candidate from the Royal House without the involvement of the Abrewatia. The involvement of the elderly female group is an age long custom and does not take away the powers of the Queenmother to present the candidate to the Kingmakers as her nominee, thereby confirming the notion that the Queenmother nominates.

That the evidence of the Respondent fails to establish that the name of the 4th Respondent was given to the Asonahene by the Abrewatia Lily Agyemang. Nananom find that as the Respondents have failed to establish the validity of the 4th Respondent’s nomination, the purported nomination, installation and election of the 4th Respondent was done without recourse to the customs, usages and tradition of Akropong, thereby nullifying the entire process that sought to elevate the 4th Respondent to ascend to the Ofori Kuma Stool.
Nananom therefore restrain the 4th Respondent from holding himself out as chief of Akuapem.

Nananom further orders that the customs, usages, practices of Akropong Akuapem must be followed in the process ending in the installation of an eligible odehye as the next occupant of the Ofori Kuma stool.’

Points 7 and 8 of the above conclusion in the Judgement delivered on 30th April 2020, on page 29 states clearly that the Queenmother has the Right to Nominate a candidate to ascend the Vacant Ofori Stool.

Lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Darteh also writes ………‘Fortunately for me, my long-time military friend and now a client as his lawyer is the Banmuhene of Akuapem. He came to my office and I blasted him, “Nana, what is happening in Akuapem? I was in the Supreme Court when I heard their unanimous judgment that the right of the queen mother to nominate a successor she shares with no one!!!…..”
The Banmuhene replied, “Captain – I am sorry. In Akuapem, especially in Akropong (sic), IT IS DIFFERENT (emphasis mine). He then patiently explained to me that in Akropong, when the paramount chief or queen mother dies, the stool rotates among three different ruling houses – Nketiaa, Ama Ogyaa and Sakyibea – and that Kwame Nkrumah's CPP government passed an Executive Instrument in 1960 to give legal backing to this arrangement.’

Lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Darteh and Lawyer Augustine Asarfo Adjei in their Supplementary written submission page 7, last chapter, are able to mention only one Case where in their opinion an Abrewatia nominated an Omanhene to the Ofori Kuma Stool.

This was culled from a Privy Council Report, it should be noted that this precedes the LI 32 of 1958. Whilst Lawyer Kwaku Ansa Asare in his written Submission, pages 15 and 16, listed Several Amanhene and stated the Queen mothers who did the nomination.

It is strange that Lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Darteh, will not instead, find time to educate his Old time friend on these facts, but hurriedly accept everything his friend presents to him as the history of Akuapem.

Please find below extracts from the written submissions of the Lawyers.
Extract of Written Submission from Lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Darteh and Lawyer Augustine Asarfo Adjei (Pages 7 and 8)

‘The Privy Council report revealed the following facts. That Nana Kwasi Akuffo was selected on the 3rd of December, 1895 and was installed on the 1st of January, 1896. At that time, Ohemaa Akua Aso was then the Queenmother. But it was one Kwasi Dako Asamoa representative of the Ohene of Amanokrom who testified under oath that Nana Kwasi Akuffo was given to him by Ekua Oye. Ekua Oye was then the elder of the stool family and the successor (in other words she was the Abrewatia). Thus, this is a time tested position that head of female elders have held and exercised their duties without fail.’
Extract of Written Submission page 15, from Lawyer Kwaku Ansa Asare

‘RESPONDENTS’ EVIDENCE

It is the contention and humble submission of the Respondents that as regards the Ofori Stool, the time honoured custom and usage is that when the stool becomes vacant, the formal act of NOMINATION is by the Queenmother.

The evidence of the Respondents oral and documentary is ample testimony to this fact. (Refer to the evidence of the following: 4th Respondent, pages 151, 152).

We submit below the list of candidates nominated by Queenmothers to mount the Ofori Stool:

LIST OF CHIEFS – AKROPONG-AKUAPEM

Candidate Nominated by Year
Queenmother
Nana Kwame Tawia Sakyiabea 1876 – 1879
Nana Kwame Fori Sakyiabea 1880 – 1895
Nana Kwasi Akuffo Akua Aso 1895 – 1907
Nana Owusu Ansah Akua Aso 1907 – 1914
Nana Ofori Kuma II Akua Aso 1914 – 1919
Nana Kwasi Akuffo (2nd Coming) Akua Aso 1920 – 1927
Nana Addo Dankwa II Akua Aso 1927 – 1930
Nana Ofori Kuma II (2nd Coming) Akua Aso 1932 – 1941
Nana Kwadade II Akua Aso 1944 – 1945
Nana Kwame Fori II Akua Oye II 1945 – 1949
Nana Twumhene Sakyiabea II 1945 – 1959
Nana Kwame Fori II (2nd Coming) Sakyiabea II 1959 – 1974
Nana Addo Dankwa III Nana Dokua 1974 – 2015

No where does a senior female member, such as the present Petitioner, appear to have nominated them. It is quite clear from the list above that the person who has the most say in the formal act of choice is the Queenmother.

Refer to Exhibit 12, 14, 15, 16, CW1 and CW2 all of which emphatically assert that it is the Queenmother who nominates a successor to the Ofori Stool when it becomes vacant. And we invite Nananom to hold so.’
Questions that Lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Darteh will need to answer are the following:

1. Please who is a Banmuhene?
2. What are his duties and responsibilities?
3. What role does he play during the Installation of an Okuapehene? and how does he convince a Lawyer who has heard a verdict at the Supreme court to the contrary?
These are questions that as a student of history Lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Darteh must seek answers to.
The people of Akuapem need peace, and Articles like these that are not factual must not be encouraged.
The Law and Customs of Akuapem will certainly be upheld.

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