The Koforidua High Court has overturned a ruling by a judicial committee set up by the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, to destool the Akyem Nkwantananhene, Nana Adanse-Akyem Omane.
The court, presided over by Justice J. S. Suurbaareh, also slapped the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council with costs of GH¢1,000 in favour of Nana Omane.
The judicial committee of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council, sitting at Kyebi in an ex parte judgement dated December 27, 2013, ordered that “custom should be performed by the kingmakers to destool Nana Adanse-Akyem Omane and hand over all stool paraphernalia to the queenmother for safe keeping until a new chief was installed”.
When the news reached Nana Omane, he immediately initiated a motion on notice at the High Court for an order of certiorari to quash the “ex parte judgement” and prohibit the traditional council from recognising any new chief whose enstoolment would follow from his unlawful destoolment.
In a 31-paragraph affidavit in support of his application, Nana Omane said he was informed on December 28, 2013 that a three-member group of malcontents at Nkwantanan and the queenmother had gone to Kyebi with a handful of rented supporters to obtain a judgement of destoolment against him.
He said he was surprised by the news because he was not involved in any chieftaincy dispute whatsoever with any person at Nkwantanan.
However, when he managed to obtain a copy of the “ex parte judgment” by the judicial committee, he found out that the three plaintiffs who were not kingmakers had got the ear of the President of the traditional council who caused a judicial committee under his directive to hear their petition, which was full of palpable lies and defamatory innuendos.
In his affidavit, Nana Omane said: “I confirm that I did not know anything about the suit of writ or petition or matter: that is to say its initiation or commencement, trial or hearing and ruling or judgment and it, therefore, sins against natural justice, as I had not been given any hearing anywhere and thus I was not aware of all that was going on.”
In the judgment, the judicial committee, presided over by Daasebre Boama Darko, the Chief of Kukurantumi and Adontenhene of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, described as “ex parte”, said Nana Omane as defendant was “served (with the writ) through Kwame Alex at Akyem Nkwantanan”.
Nana Omane further stated in his affidavit that the admission by the Judicial Committee that the writ or petition was served on him through Kwame Alex was not only false but also a gross violation of the rules of judicial provess, which the Kukurantumihene should know.
He stressed further that “there is nobody known to me as Kwame Alex without a surname in the whole township of Akyem Nkwantanan”.
Nana Omane vehemently denied that he was given any document emanating from either the Okyenhene or the traditional council or its judicial committee through anybody or person at Nkwantanan or anywhere.
When the application came on for hearing at the High Court in Koforidua on February 28, 2014, the court said, “In view of the admission by counsel for respondents that the applicant was not, indeed, served with the processes, the applicant’s prayer would be and is hereby granted. There shall be costs of GH¢1,000.”
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