Gomoa Akyempim Kingmakers are furious over their Paramount Chief’s refusal to honor their invitation to answer impropriety charges as custom demands.
The Elders and Kingmakers of the Royal Asona Family of Gomoa Buduatta resolved on the 29th of April this year to de-stool the Omanhen of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area, Obrifo Ahunaku Ahor Ankobea II on charges of impropriety since his accession in 2001.
The Omanhen 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 Omanhen, without justifiable cause, has conducted himself in ways that are an affront to the customary practices of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area.
On 24th of April this year, the Royal Asona Family of Buduatta thus petitioned the Omanhemaa (Paramount Queenmother) 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 Omanhen, 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 Omanhen and referenced the charges for the destoolment of Kusae Adu XV the then Omanhen 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 Omanhen are as follows:
- Carving a new black stool which is a Taboo and failure to purify the Ancestral Black Stool since ascension in 2001.
- Removal of the Traditional Headquarters of Gomoa Akyempim from Assin to his private residence at Gomoa Buduatta where he performs sacred rites such as meeting of Divisional Chiefs, and Swearing in of Oath for new Chiefs and Family Heads.
- 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.
- Refusal to perform the Final Funeral Rites of his predecessors since his ascension.
- Creation of intra family insecurity, conflicts and divisions within and among the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area.
- Failure to account for stool royalties.
- Indulgence in Fraudulent Acts.
- Failure to facilitate the provision of basic social amenities.
- Indiscriminate conferment of Chieftaincy on non-indigene.
- Unilateral decision making.
In Omanhen’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.
The said that according to their client, the Omanhen, 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 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 AMPONSA-DADZIE & PARTNERS Legal Practitioners sent 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 determination 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.”
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 enstoolment and destoolment authority following customs and practices must file a petition in support of the 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)”