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Regional News of Thursday, 31 July 2003

Source: GNA

Traditional Council Registrars warned against performing lawyers' roles

Koforidua, July 31, GNA - The Deputy Registrar of the National House of Chiefs, Mr. David Sorgbodjor, on Tuesday warned registrars of traditional councils not to perform functions reserved for lawyers on behalf of litigants in chieftaincy disputes.

He also asked them to ensure that only chiefs duly registered by the National House of Chiefs belonged to the judicial committees of the traditional councils.

Mr. Sogbodjor was addressing Registrars and supporting staff of Traditional Councils in the Eastern Region at Koforidua at a three-day training workshop organised by the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs. Speaking on the judicial functions of Registrars, he asked them to avoid the tendency to exploit the ignorance of litigants or to show any favouritism towards any party in a dispute before the councils.

The Acting Registrar of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Mr. Akwasi Asare Ankomah, cautioned the Registrars against allowing themselves to be manipulated by individual members but rather implement only collective decisions of the councils.

He asked them to exercise due diligence and abide by the financial regulations to meet official deadlines, adding that they would be monitored and those who performed well would be presented with annual awards.

On financial constraints facing the councils, he asked them to assist in raising revenue through their own sources instead of depending solely on grants from the District Assemblies and the central government.

Mr. Ankomah urged them to submit appropriate information on chiefs to the Registrar of the National House of Chiefs on time and guide the councils to comply strictly with provisions of the Chieftaincy Act.

He appealed to the authorities to improve the working conditions of the staff and help them to procure the relevant enactments for the councils to enable them to keep abreast with the times.

The Eastern Regional Accountant of the Regional House of Chiefs, Mr. Dominic Fofie, stressed on the need for the Registrars to abide by the financial regulations and deadlines in the preparation of their annual estimates to avoid sanctions.

According to him, the region had not received its quarterly grants for allowances for chiefs so far this year.