Asanteman Council dismisses petition against queenmother
The Asanteman Council, presided over by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has dismissed a petition by some members of the Kumawu royal family seeking a declaration that the queen of the traditional area, Nana Serwaa Amponsah, who was enstooled about eight years ago, is of Fulani descent and, therefore, not qualified to occupy the stool.
Consequently, the Asantehene has directed that the queen and other members of the royal family who were locked up in a bitter six-year chieftaincy dispute that polarised and hightened tension in the area should join forces to begin the process for the nomination and installation of a new Omanhene to succeed the late Omanhene, Barima Asumadu Sakyi II, who died on June 11, 2007.
A group within the royal family, led by its spokesperson, Opanin Kwabena Darkwa, had appeared before the council to seek the declaration after invoking the Asantehene’s ‘Ntamkesie’ (Great Oath) to the effect that the queen was a Fulani.
According to them, the great grandmother of the queen was brought down to Kumawu in the olden days by one of the earliest paramount chiefs of Kumawu, the late Kumawuhene, Barima Asumadu Sakyi I, when he was returning from northern Ghana where he had sought spiritual intervention to avert some series of deaths in his family.
But, at the Manhyia Palace last Thursday, the Asanteman Council, which is the highest traditional court in Asanteman, with membership from the entire Ashanti and parts of the Brong Ahafo and Volta regions, said the accusers of the queen failed to advance evidence to prove their claim.
After both parties had argued their case before the council with the narration of the history of their royalty, the queen, in spite of ‘some few inconsistencies’ in her evidence, was able to convince the members that she is a true royal.
In line with the procedure at the Asanteman Council, each of the almost 60 paramount chiefs present was made to give his personal decision on the matter before the Asantehene summed up.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said having failed to prove that the queen was of Fulani descent, there was no basis for Opanin Darkwa and his group to have their way.
He said the council also relied on writings by the highly recognised authority on Ashanti history, Capt R.S. Rattray, the late British Army captain who turned ethnographer, which affirmed the position of the queen that she is a royal of the Kumawu Stool.
He said it was surprising that the queen’s accusers chose to go outside the royal family to present a witness to testify for them. The King said ‘there is no winner and loser in this case’ and that the ruling took a middle line to ensure that peace reigned in Kumawu.
Kumawu, he said, occupied a special place in Asanteman ‘and I would like to see that peace reigns in the area.’
He cautioned people in his domain who were bent on sending chieftaincy cases to court and said ‘I have the power to deal with all matters involving chieftaincy.’
The Asantehene announced that the traditional council would suspend its scheduled sitting for August 29 in view of the ruling to be given by the Supreme Court in the election petition case.
By Kwame Asare Boadu/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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