Nana Ansa Asare, Lawyer for the Okuapehemea in the controversial Akuapem chieftaincy case which ended on Thursday, April 30, has been captured giving a seeming distorted interpretation to the ruling of the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs.
Information gathered by GhanaWeb indicated that on the evening after the judgement by the Judicial Committee, Lawyer Ansa Asare went to report to the Okuapehemea’s faction of what the judgement stated.
In his words, which were clearly captured on tape, the lawyer made some seeming ambiguous presentation on the ruling.
He said, “…Let us all thank ourselves. Let us give a big thanks to God saying Ebenezer, thus far the Lord has brought us. We thank Him greatly.
“The judgement, in short, is that it is the custom of the Asona (clan). So, it is the Asona people that have got their matter (to deal with).
“So, they (the Judicial Committee) said it is the Ohemea (Queen mother) who appoints (a chief). It is the Ohemea who installs a chief.
“That is the summary I can give. So, it is not Kwadwo Kesse or Auntie Lily. They (the Judicial Committee) said it is the Ohemea who installs chief.”
However, in reading the judgement on Thursday, in the case between the Okuapehemea and the Abrewatia of Sakyiabea House, the Judicial Committee clearly stated in its 12-point summary that the petitioner, Lily Agyeman, has the capacity to initiate the chieftain procedures.
The Committee said, in Akropong-Akuapem, there is a title accorded the royal mother of the ruling house and that is the Abrewatia.
It further stated that all three ruling houses in Akuapem, that is Nketiaa, Amogyaa and Sakyiabea, have their distinct well known Abrewatia and that Lily Agyeman, the petitioner, is the Abrewatia of the Royal Sakyiabea House.
The Committee also clarified that nominating a candidate to occupy the Ofori Kuma stool is a consultative process.
It further clarified that to validly nominate a candidate, the Abrewatia of the ruling house of whose turn it is to produce a candidate must select an eligible royal and submit the name of the royal to the Asonahene for onward submission to the Queen mother.
Furthermore, it said, in nominating a candidate, the Queen mother alone cannot select a candidate of the Royal House without the involvement of the Abrewatia.
It again emphasized that the involvement of the Abrewatia and the elderly female group is an age-long custom and does not take away the powers from the Queen mother to present a candidate to the kingmakers as a nominee.
The Judicial Committee hammered that the evidence of the respondent (the Queen mother) failed to establish that the name of the fourth respondent (Odehye Kwasi Akuffo) was given to the Asonahene by the Abrewatia, Lily Agyeman.
As a result, Nananom found that as the Queen mother failed to establish the validity of Odehye Kwasi Akuffo’s nomination, the reported nomination, installation, election of Odehye Kwasi Akuffo was done without due recourse to the customs, usages and tradition of Akropong-Akuapem, thereby nullifying the entire process that sought to elevate him to ascend the Ofori Kuma stool.
Nananom, therefore, restrained the fourth respondent for holding himself as chief of Akuapem.
Nananom finally ordered that the customs, usages and practices of Akropong-Akuapem must be followed in the process ending in the installation of an eligible Odehye as the next occupant of the Ofori Kuma stool.
After the judgement, Ghanaweb’s underground information gathered indicated that the Abrewatia faction went to the Queen mother same evening to present their nomination (of Kwadwo Kesse) to her for onward presentation to the kingmakers but the Queen mother told them that she was sleeping.
However, the Abrewatia faction (comprising majority of kingmakers) could not wait for the Queen mother to wake up from her sleep and went ahead immediately the next morning, Friday, May 1, to perform all the necessary customs to install their choice to ascend the Ofori Kuma stool as the next Okuapehene.