General News of Wednesday, 16 January 2019
The Ga Traditional Council on Tuesday appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to appoint a Commission of Enquiry to settle the chieftaincy issues within the Ga State.
They contended that since the demise of the late Ga Manste, Nii Amugi II, some 14 years ago, the Ga State had had a hard time finding a replacement, which had become a threat to peace and stability.
The Traditional Council made the request when its members called on the President at the Jubilee House in Accra.
Nii Otu Blafo II, the Spokesperson for the Traditional Council, expressed the hope that the President would invoke the provisions of Article 278 of the 1992 Constitution to appoint a Commission of Enquiry to determine who ascends the Ga Manste Stool because of the failure of the many attempts to bring closure to matter by the Regional and National Houses of Chiefs.
The Traditional Council also raised the issue of paramountcies in the Ga State, insisting that they were not in agreement with the decision of the Regional House of Chiefs to elevate only five of the 12 divisional Stools to the level of paramountcies and called on the President to intervene.
President Akufo-Addo, on his part, expressed surprise that after so many years the Judicial Committee of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs had not been able to settle the chieftaincy disputes within the Ga State.
He told the Council that a Commission of Enquiry, as they demanded, would not have the power to declare royalty in a way that the Judicial Committee of the Regional House of Chiefs could, adding that the Law was explicit that any dispute about royalty, about the right to the stool, is dealt with by the Judicial Committee.
The President assured the Council that he would confer with his legal advisors to look into the concerns raised.
“I understand what is behind it. You want a situation where there is closure to this matter so that long when we have a left here, there is a document that is being agreed upon which tells you how and who are eligible to occupy the Ga paramountcy. I think the idea is very serious and worth considering,” President Akufo-Addo said.
However, the President said he would confer with his legal team to find out the tenability of their request, saying: “At the end of the day, I am also required to uphold the Constitution of the country."
"If a particular institution has been identified as responsible for adjudicating issues, I don’t think it will be right for the President because of his authority to set it aside and go off his track,” he stated.
On the issue of paramountcies for the seven other divisional stools in the Ga State, President Akufo-Addo wondered why five of the 12 stools had been elevated to paramountcies and the rest had not, even after the late Nii Amugi had recommended that all the stools enjoyed that status.
He assured the Council that he would communicate their concerns to the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs for redress.