Mr Solomon Mintah Ackaah has been declared the substantive Head of the Akwanor Royal Family of Ashalaja by an Accra High Court.
He was declared the head of the family on December 5, 2018 by Justice Doris Bempong, Presiding Judge, in a judgement on a long standing litigation between him and Adams Addy and another (defendant) who claimed to be joint heads of the family.
The court held that Ackaah, the plaintiff, gave evidence to show he was appointed and installed as the head of the family on July 9, 2009.
Consequently, the court asked the defendants to relinquish any assets of the family that may come to them by reason of holding themselves as joint family heads.
The defendants have been perpetually restrained by the court from holding themselves out as heads of the Akwanor Royal Family of Ashalaja and cost of GH¢8,000 awarded against them.
It is the plaintiff’s case that by the custom, usages and practice of the Akwanor Royal Family, the said family is at all material times headed by one person and that from 1973 to 1980 one Kwame Addy (deceased) was the head of the Akwanor Family of Ashalaja.
Plaintiff said he was installed in 2009 following the removal of Daniel Quao Ntadu.
The defendants, however, told the court that in their family, known as the Nii Akwanor Royal Family of Ashalaja, no person was appointed head of family on July 9, 2009 and contended that the purported appointment of the plaintiff was procured by fraud.
In passing judgment, Justice Bempong observed that there were inconsistencies in the evidence of the defendants and their witness “and it is the court’s view that they have not adduced sufficient and credible evidence to show that the plaintiff’s appointment was fraudulent.”
She said although the defendants claimed they were appointed joint heads of the family in 2003, there was no pictures of the second defendant’s appointment and that the exhibit tendered as photo of appointment “has been truly photoshopped.”
In his statement of claim, Mr Ackaah asked the court for a declaration that any act or acts done by the defendants in the purported capacity as joint heads or head of the Akwanor Family is null and void.
He urged the court to perpetually injunct defendant from holding himself as the Head of Akwanor Royal family of Ashalaja.
The defendants denied the allegations in the plaintiff’s statement of claim and stated that their (defendants) great grand fathers who settled at Ashalaja hailed from Winneba in the Central Region and spoke Efutu.
Defendants pleaded that plaintiff does not hail from Winneba but rather from Moree from the Central Region and spoke Fante, therefore cannot be a member of the Nii Akwanor Royal Family of Ashalaja who traces their ancestral routes from Winneba.
They asked to declare that defendants had always been heads or joint heads of the Nii Akwanor Royal Family of Ashalaja.
A declaration that the plaintiff is stopped from styling or calling himself as the lawful head of Nii Akwanor Royal Family of Ashalaja.
A declaration that any land title document executed by the plaintiff, his assigns and privies in relation to the Ashalaja lands without lawful authority is null, void and of no effect.
The defendants asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the plaintiff and his privies from entering, leasing, selling, assigning or in any way whatsoever in dealing with the lands at Ashalaja.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA