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High Court dismisses case against Chief of Gyakiti

High Court dismisses case against Chief of Gyakiti

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His Lordship Nana Yaw Gyamfi Frimpong, a Justice of the Koforidua High Court has quashed a dispute in favour of Chief of Gyakiti, Nana Mamfe Otuabeng III against Nana Otwasuom Osae Nyampong IV, Akwamu Pesehene.

The judge further orders Nana Otwasuom Osae Nyampong IV and the Akwamu Traditional Council to pay an amount of Ghc5,000 each to Nana Mamfe Otuabeng III, Gyakitihene.

The case was titled, The Republic versus The Judicial Committee of Akwamu Traditional Council as Respondent, Ex-parte Kwabena Nyankomago and 10 others as Applicants and Nana Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI as an Interested Party.

According to Nana Otwasuom Osae Nyampong IV Pesehene, who was an Interested Party to the case, the 4th Applicant, Nana Mamfe Otuabeng III has been nominated, elected and installed as the Chief of Gyakiti in the Akwamu Traditional Area.

However, after going through the process of his nomination, election and enstoolment the Gyakitihene ought to have sworn the oath of allegiance to him, being the overlord of the Gyakiti stool to consummate his enstoolment process.

But not Chief of Kotropei who is the 6th Applicant who also has the same status as the interested Party being sub divisional chiefs.

Chief of Gyakiti after going through the process and being recognised applied to have his name registered into the National House of Chiefs which was done but the Interested Party has objected to that as well.

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Nana Otwasuom Osae Nyampong IV in his petition is not only asking that the name of Gyakitihene is deleted from the National Register of Chiefs, however, also the Akwamu Traditional Council should make an order compelling the other Applicants to bring the Gyakitihene to swear the oath of allegiance to him before consummating his chiefship.

Gyakitihene as Respondents in the petition, entered appearance to the petition, on 30thJuly 2018 and moved the Respondent on notice for an order to dismiss the petition on grounds that Nana Osae Nnyampong lacks the requisite capacity to have instituted the petition in respect of matters of Gyakiti stool particularly, on the issue of who the occupant of the stool should swear the oath of allegiance.

According to the 26 paragraph affidavit in support of the application, the Applicants being Gyakitihene and others deposed that, Gyakiti stool and for that matter, Gyakitihene do not owe any allegiance to Akwamu Pesehene being Nana Osae Nyampong by way of any customary arrangement by which the Gyakitihene should have sworn the oath of allegiance to the Pesehene.

This is because the Gyakiti stool is not one of the stools under the authority of Nana Otwasuom Osae Nyampong IV, the Akamu Pesehene.

They further contended that since 1732, no properly installed occupant of the Gyakiti stool as Gyakitihene has ever sworn the oath of allegiance to the Pesehene, whose stool is also classified within Chieftaincy set up as being under the same status of the Sub-Divisional Stool within the Nifa Division of the Akwamu Traditional Council.

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It was further stated by the applicants that Akwamu Pesehene had no part in the affairs of the stool of Gyakitihene and therefore could not complain about the swearing of the oath of allegiance let alone institute a petition to compel Gyakitihene to swear to him.

However, Nana Otwasuom Osae Nyampong IV who is an Interested Party to the case opposed the application by Gyakitihene and the other Applicants in his 15 paragraph affidavit.

He stated that the depositions in the affidavit in support of the application of the Applicants are untruth, distorted history and a clear lack of understanding of the facts of this case.

According to him, a decision of the Respondent in the case of Nana Mamfe Awauh III and five others versus Nana Ansah Kwao and eight others dated 14th May 2007, a copy of which was attached to his affidavit in opposition as Exhibit ‘’NOON 1’’.

The Respondent differently constituted, found that Gyakiti is part of Kamena which is headed by the Pesehene and it is him that the Gyakitihene, he believed in that suit, has to swear the oath of allegiance to consummate his chiefship.

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He contended that it is on record that Nana Mamfe Odame II, the last Chief of Gyakiti, who occupied the same stool as Nana Mamfe Awauh III purports to occupy, swore the oath of allegiance to him when he was installed as a Chief.

The Interested Party also relied on Exhibit ‘’NOON 2’’, which was a letter dated 12th May 2007 written by Nana Mamfe Awuah III to the Registrar of the Akwamu Traditional Council asking for four months’ extension of time to swear the oath of allegiance to the Akwamu Pesahene.

The presiding judge His Lordship Gyamfi Frimpong quoted extensively from many cases to put an end to any argument that once a party has appealed against a judgment or ruling he cannot apply for the exercise of the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or the High Court, by way of an application for certiorari.

He further stated that the Court should exercise its discretion to grant the order of certiorari applied for by the Applicants.

He indicated that the Akwamu Traditional Council had no jurisdiction to make the orders it made on 14thNovember, 2019 and the same should be brought to the court to be quashed.