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Opinions of Friday, 16 January 2015

Columnist: Ashanti Watch

Ex-aduanahene of kumawu exposed

By Nana Kwame Afram alias Dr. James Charles London, Principal Member of the Ankaase Aduana Royal family of Kumawu

The Vol. 23, No. 0002 Thursday January 8, 2015 edition of the INSIGHT newspaper carried a front page story headed: "CHALLENGED" with the sub-head "...Majority Kingmakers of Kumawu Take Otumfuo on".

I, Dr. James Charles London, the originator of the article in the December 3, 2014 edition of The Chronicle to which your publication came as a rejoinder, therefore wish to react as follows:

Kumawu has nine kingmakers namely Krontihene, Ankobeahene, Akwamuhene, Nifahene, Kyidomhene, Benkumhene, Adontehene, Akyeamehene and Gyasihene.

However, at the time of the enstoolment of Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua and the subsequent destoolment of the five chiefs of Kumawu, kingmakers of Kumawu were only four in the persons s Krontihene, Akwamuhene, Nifahene and Gyasihene. The rest were deceased.

Since two out of four were present at the installation of Barima Tweneboa Kodua the claim by Opanin Sarfo Agyekum, the ex-Aduanahene of majority kingmakers is not only false but also misleading.

The position of Aduanahene of Kumawu has never been a kingmaker just as Akyempimhene is not, has never been and cannot ever be a kingmaker of Kumawu. It must also be put on record that Akyempim stool has been banned by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

It must be stayted that during the maiden meeting of the four kingmakers on December 9, 2013 at the late Krontihene's resdidence, the Akyempimhene was not invited so was he left out at the Manhyia meeting on October 28, 2014. How true is the claim that Akyepimhene is a kingmaker?

"The Law and Constitution of Ashanti by Rattray on page 232 pointing to the main responsibility of the Aduanahene indicates that "the Aduanahene sees to it that the dead body of a chief is bathed by a bathroom attendant and the kinsmen."

In effect, the Aduanahene supervises the bathing of dead chiefs and is therefore more a or less the head of mortuary men. This is the man, who has the audacity to challenge his destoolment amid other falsehoods.

Like the Oyokohene of Kumasi, Juaben and Kokofu and the Bretuohene of Mampong, it is unknown for the head of a clan to have absolute power to elect an Omanhene.

Opanin Sarfo Agyekum claimed that as Aduanahene, he is entitled to nominate and install new Kumawuhene. He further maintained that Nana Serwaa Amponsah should have consulted him before nominating the Kumawuhene. This is Just a personal view f he then Aduanahene which was rejected by the Kumawu Traditional Council.

Defining Asante Custom as laid down by a Committee of the Asante Confederacy Council on March 16, 1936 , as contained in paragraph 17 of Warrington's notes indicated that " the Queen mother in consultation with Gyasehene shall nominate a candidate from members of the royal family and present him through the Gyasehene to the Kingmakers

Opanin Sarfo Agyekum, the destooled Aduanahene of Kumasi is only arrogating frustration to his destoolment and therefore resorting to claims and unknown hallowed Asante custom.

The ex-Aduanahene, Opanin sarfo Agyekum, will be the first to admit as a witness before the Asanteman that since the reign of Otumfuo Osei Kwadwo, the Odumase branch f the royal Aduana family (of which Opanin Sarfo Agyekum is a principal member have been banned from occupying the Kodua Stool of Kumawu.

The notorious fact is that Barima Akwatra Feni, the then Kumawuhene and great grand ancestor of Opanin Sarfo Agyekum in 1774 exhibited cowardice in the war between Asante And banda hence the ban n the descendants of Barima Feni's lineage, which prohibition has perpetually been endorsed by Asanteman.

In similar vein, the destoolment of Opanin Sarfo Agyekum and four others which was sanctioned by Asanteman, is a sign of cowardice to swear an oath of allegiance to the newly installed Omanhne of Kumawu. Opanin Sarfo Agyekum is fully aware he has no capacity as Aduanahene let alone act on behalf of other destooled chiefs. It must be stated that in the past, the title of Aduanahene was held by the chief of Bodwease.

However, when in 1944 it became vacant, Barima Kwame Afram (who this writer was named after) bestowed the title of Aduanahene on Opanin Kwasi Dwira from the Kumawu Aduana royal family as the first Aduanahene. The gesture was a form of compensation for being excluded from the Kodua Stool by Otumfuo Osei Kwadwo.

From the above discourse, one would have thought that the ex-Aduanahene should have been witty enough to seek amnesty from Otumfuo to lift the ban on his lineage in order to be part of the Kodua Stool and not challenge the authority of the Asantehene.

The Odumase Aduana royal family (of which Ex-Aduanahene is a principal member), has a head. The Ex-Aduanahene, who now seems to champion the interest of the alleged majority kingmakers, is only a titular head. Odumasi has no black stool with the Kodua Stool. If the ex-Aduanahene has any mandate, why did the Odumase royals not present a candidate to aspire for the position of Omanhene.

See who is talking now. A head mortuary man trying to oppose Otumfuo who had banished the ex-Aduanahne's lineage from occupying Kumawu Kodua Stool for cowardice.

Ex-Aduanahene is a frustrated man and is no better than a lion without a den, full of roar and anger.

From the above, does the Ex-Aduanahene still have the effrontery to dispute that Otumfuo is the Overlord of Asante Kingdom?

His present position only goes to explain his past which borders on stolen streetlights belonging to the community as reported by The Chronicle of March 6, 2006 and the falsification of leased documents of the Kumawu Institute of Skills Training (KIST). Chronicle of May 8, 2014.

The Chronicle of March 6, 2006 with a screaming headline: "ADUANAHENE "STEALS" STREET LIGHT FRAMES reported: "THE KUMAWU police are quizzing the Aduanahene of Kumawu, Nana Sarfo Agyekum and a Kumasi based scrap dealer their involvement in the stealing and sale of old street light frames.The family head is alleged to have stolen and sold about 30 old street light frames belonging to the Sekyere East District Assembly and the community. Nana Sarpong alias Joe Fly who was the former chairman of the Town Council claims the community had no use for the items because they were obsolete and that the Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG) was privy to the sale of the items which were being kept at his house in his capacity for the Pepease Electrification project. The suspect as well reportedly told the police in a spirited defence that his insane brother sold the items in question against the evidence that he had gathered the items for sale. The Aduanahene is said to have sold the items to a Kumasi based scrap metal dealer which transaction took place at his family house at Etia, a suburb of Kumawu. The dealer who was arrested while conveying the materials away mentioned Nana Sarpong. A police source at Kumawu confirmed the arrest last Tuesday February 28, 2006 of the Aduanahene who has since been granted police inquiry bail on condition that he reports to the police daily pending further investigations and prosecution in a law court. The dealer (name withheld) is also on bail".

As recent as May 6, 2014, The Chronicle again reported thus: "KUMAWU ADUANAHENE FALSIFIES LEGAL DOCUMENT"

THE SEKYERE Kumawu District Assembly (SKDA) and the Kumawu Institute of Skills Training (KIST) might soon initiate action against the Aduanahene of Kumawu, Nana Sarfo Agekum II, for alleged falsification of legal documents.

Nana Agyekum alias Joe Fly, is said to have altered a indenture signed on November 23, 2005 regarding the lease of a 10-acre plot of land to KIST for the benefit of the Odumasi Royal family in Kumawu.

A meeting of a land Dispute Resolution Committee appointed by the local District Assembly on April 17, 201, the Aduanahene admitted that after studying a copy of an original indenture, he felt the terms of agreement were not favourable to the Odumasi family so he caused an alteration.

Nana Agyekum, besides the falsification and thus rendering it unauthentic, had put his official stamp on the family's copy of the Indenture received from the then Sekyere East District Assembly.

The Chronicle has gathered that the Odumasi Royal family of Kumawu went to seek free admission and training of two of their youth at KIST last year for which they allegedly produced an indenture of the new site of the school and pointed to a clause which sought to state that KIST will offer admission to two students from the Family every year for free.

After a careful study of the indenture the Manager and the Board chairman of KIST detected that the document had been altered. The word "free" was handwritten and put in bracket after a full stop.

As a result, the two students from the Odumasi family were refused admission and tuition following which the family lodged a complaint with h DCE in a petition citing an alleged breach of

agreement between the family and the Sekyere East District Assembly out of which the present Sekyere Kumawu district was carved.

In verifying the authenticity of the land Indenture, the DCE convened a meeting between Mr. Kwamena Dandze Mingle and Dr. James Charles London, manager and Board of chairman respectively of KIST, the Odumasi Family and officials of the Assembly constituting an appointed Committee.

Nana Agyekum is on record to have told the panel that the GHc1,750.00 paid for the release of the land was part of customary drink money and did not commensurate the 10-acre land allocated to the school and threatened to confiscate the remaining undeveloped land if the terms of agreement were not reviewed to reflect and fully meet the interest of the Family.

At the April 17 meeting, Dr. London, explained that by established Customary laws, all lands within the boundaries of Kumawu were the property of the Paramount Stoll and that all lesser stools which owe allegiance to the Paramount stool hold themselves as caretakers.

According to Dr. London, for the purpose of development, a stool land is leased and the caretaker family or chief is compensated with one third portion of the land and that documents (indenture) of sold lands are signed by the Omanhene or caretaker chief and chairman and secretary of the local Plot Allocation Committee.

Following, the panel examined the two copies of Indentures and found out three disparities evidenced in the fact that the word Indenture as heading of the document were in different font and font sizes on both documents.

The word "free" found on the copy produced by the family but not on the original copy produced by the Sekyere East District Assembly which was secured by the Sekyere Kumawu District Assembly on request.

Also Nana Sarfo Agyekum had his official stamp showing his name, title and signature as Assignor while the original copy bore only a signature as Assignor.

Upon further quizzing the Aduanahene admitted falsifying the document by inserting "free" in pen outside the sentence of the said clause in the Indenture.

A Chronicle source has indicated that the Assembly and KIT might take a legal action against the Aduanahene or consider a review of the Indenture to resolve the dispute between KIST and the Odumasi Royal family of Kumawu.

When reached for his comments, Nana Agyekum admitted putting his stamp on the documents but explained that the word "free" was inserted by the then District Coordinating Director of Sekyere East District Assembly one Nana Asumadu(deceased) at his (Aduanahene's) instance.

According to him on realizing that the word had been omitted from the original indenture he drew the attention of the officer to it who put it there but probably forget t do same on the original in the custody of the Assembly.

The Aduanahene, reiterated his threat to reclaim the land if the Indenture is not reviewed to benefit the Odumasi Royal family as originally planned.

Meanwhile, Opanin Kwaku Gyekyei, Abuasuapanin of Odumasi Aduana Royal family of Kumawu also signed both copies of indenture as witness on behalf of the family with different signatures"

This is the caliber of a non-entity who would do anything for pittance in order to distract a rather focused Omanhene from a programmed development agenda.

Aduanahene deserves no attention by any right thinking member of the public.