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Regional News of Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Source: John Eshun, Contributor

Omanhen of Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area dissolves standing committee

Obaatanpa Ama Eduwa I, Omanhemaa of Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area Obaatanpa Ama Eduwa I, Omanhemaa of Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area

In a document sighted by our source and dated 24th May 2021, the Omanhen of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area, Obrifo Ahunako Ahor Ankobea II, who is already facing destoolment charges for impropriety has dissolved the standing committee of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Council effective immediately in a move that has been described by members of the committee as arbitrary and unfounded in any regularly organized institutions recognized by law.

This comes shortly after members of the committee led by the Omanhemaa of the area (Paramount Queen Mother), Obaatanpa Ama Eduwa I, endorsed a litany of charges against the Omanhen for his destoolment on grounds of impropriety which is an affront to the customs and practices of the Traditional Area.

In an interview with Nana Osuan Asare VI, Chief of Gomoa Abonyin and Divisional Chief, Nguantuahen (Chief of Staff) of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Council, he stated that, “This is a clear example of the unilateral decision making a charge against the Omanhen which has led to proceedings for his destoolment. How do you single-handedly dissolve a Standing Committee?”

Some members of the committee refused to comment on the developments and have said that they will take the necessary steps required by law to address the unfortunate incident.

The Omanhemaa who is not affected by the arbitrary decision and remains an automatic member of the Standing Committee has said that she was not consulted about the decision to dissolve the committee and holds the view that the decision was as a result of the recent endorsement by Members of the Standing Committee in support destoolment charges levelled against the Omanhen.

The Omanhemaa has further stated that, “The decision lacks legal capacity and will be dealt with extensively and appropriately”. She added that her lawyers will file a writ of Certiorari on behalf of the committee members at the High Court to nullify the Omanhene’s arbitrary order.

BACKGROUND

The Elders and Kingmakers of the Royal Asona Family of Gomoa Buduatta resolved on the 29th of April this year to de-stool the Omanhene of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area, Obrifo Ahunaku Ahor Ankobea II on charges of impropriety since his accession in 2001.

The Omanhene was enstooled by the Kingmakers of the Royal Asona Family of Buduatta to ascend the Ahunaku Stool in 2001, after the demise of his predecessor, Okukutan Ahunaku Acquah I aka Brigadier D. A. Asare, a former Chief of Army Staff of Ghana from February 1972 to January 1973.

The Elders and Kingmakers of the Royal Asona Family aver that the Omanhene, without justifiable cause, has conducted himself in ways that are an affront to the customary practices of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area.

On the 24th of April this year, the Royal Asona Family of Buduatta thus petitioned the Omanhemaa (Paramount Queen-mother) of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area, Obaatanpa Ama Eduwa I, who is also the Abrewatia (to wit, wise old lady) of the Royal Asona Family of Buduatta over the impropriety of the Omanhene, and urged the King’s immediate destoolment.

In a response to the petition on the 26th April 2021, the Abrewatia endorsed the litany of charges against the Omanhene and referenced the charges for the destoolment of Kusae Adu XV the then Omanhene of the Gomoa Assin State.

The Abrewatia noted: “The lack of access to justice means that conflicts remain unresolved and people cannot obtain protection and redress. Institutions that do not function according to legitimate laws are prone to arbitrariness and abuse of power, and less capable of delivering on their oath of office.”

The summary of the petition charges against the Omanhene are as follows:

1. Carving a new black stool which is a Taboo and failure to purify the Ancestral Black Stool since ascension in 2001.

2. Removal of the Traditional Headquarters of Gomoa Akyempim from Assin to his private residence at Gomoa Buduatta where he performs sacred rites such as the meeting of Divisional Chiefs, and Swearing in of Oath for new Chiefs and Family Heads.

3. Creation of a new Sacred Pot (Akor) at Gomoa Buduatta to the neglect of the Ancestral Sacred Pot (Akor) of the Gomoa Akyempim Palace in Gomoa Assin.

4. Refusal to perform the Final Funeral Rites of his predecessors since his ascension.

5. Creation of intra family insecurity, conflicts and divisions within and among the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area.
6. Failure to account for stool royalties.

7. Indulgence in Fraudulent Acts.

8. Failure to facilitate the provision of basic social amenities.

9. Indiscriminate conferment of Chieftaincy on non-indigene.

10. Unilateral decision making.

In Omanhene’s response to Nana Obotantam Edu-Effrim, the Apaahen and Akwamuhen of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Council, the Omanhen’s lawyers (Lartey, Badombie & Co.) have stated that the decision by the Royal family is unfounded.

They said that according to their client, the Omanhene, the Gomoa Akyempim royal stool is made up of six (6) royal houses alleging, “except Ebusuapanyin Kojo Odoom, all other petitioners are not heads of the various gates clothed with the capacity to call for our client’s destoolment and that the attempt to destool the Omanhen is an affront to the laid down customary practices of the area and likely to breach the peace of the traditional area."

In another letter by AMPONSA-DADZIE & PARTNERS Legal Practitioners (also lawyers for the Omanhen) addressed to Nana Obotantam Edu-Effrim, the Apaahen and Akwamuhen of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Council, the Lawyers said, "Our instructions are that our client cannot appear before you for the purpose of the letter in light of the law regulating Deposition/Destoolment Proceedings. The law being the Chieftaincy Act, 2008, Act 759 now regulates Destoolment or Deposition procedures and per section 40 of the said Act, such destoolment proceedings have to be instituted at the Judicial Committee at the appropriate judicial forum (in the case of our client being a Paramount Chief, the Central Region House of Chiefs)."

"Since your outfit is not the appropriate forum for reference/institution of destoolment proceedings to determine the charges and the liability of our client, our client is advised not to appear before you as requested in your letter," they argued.

"In the circumstances, we shall urge you Nana, to advise the Petitioners to comply with the laws of Ghana by filing the appropriate Petition at the Regional House of Chiefs against our client, if
they still intend to pursue their unmeritorious venture and not take the law into their own hands, for which reason we have taken the liberty to copy the Ghana Police Service,” they advised.

However, the Omanhemaa, Obaatanpa Ama Eduwa I has emphasized that:
“There’s no section in the Chieftaincy Act (2008) that supports impropriety. Also, it is important to exhaust all customary procedures which, may have allowed the Omanhen to exonerate himself against the allegations charged for his disposition before advancing to the Regional House of Chiefs."

She added that “It is clear that the Omanhen who barely represents the Traditional Council at the Central Regional House of Chiefs, prefers the escalation of his impropriety to the Regional House of Chiefs to the customary approach that usually seeks to circumvent the matter.”

Since the Regional House of Chiefs is the appropriate authority to sit on the matter, the meeting on the 5th May 2021 was concluded by the overall majority present that the traditional enstoolment and destoolment authority following customs and practices must file a petition in support of the destoolment petition filed by the Royal Asona Family of Buduatta at the Central Regional House of Chiefs for immediate action on the matter as enshrined in the Chieftaincy Act (2008).”

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