AN Accra High Court has re-strained Bill Okaidja Annan from using the title Nii Okaidja II, and purporting to be the Gbese Mantse or the Adonten Mantse of the Ga State.
In its ruling on May 28, the court presided over by Charles Quist, also restrained him and “any other interested party or either of them, whether by themselves, their servants, agents, privies, whomsoever or otherwise howsoever, from taking any part whatsoever by their presence or attendance, threat or otherwise at any advertised outdooring ceremony relating to the interested party as the Gbese Shippi at anytime on any occasion whatsoever.”
It awarded costs of GH¢10,000 against the respondents, Bill Annan and Nii Okai Keteku I, an interested party in a suit filed by Nii Ayi Bonte II, Gbese Mantse, on ex-parte motion.
Both parties had their legal representatives present on May 28, 2015, when the judgement was given. While Adumuah Bossman represented the applicant, Ayikoi Otoo was there for the respondent and the interested party.
Nii Ayi Bonte filed a motion for judicial review by way of prerogative or supervisory injunction against Bill Annan for carrying himself as Gbese Mantse with a stool name Nii Okaidja III and Nii Okai Keteku, a Shippi installed by Nii Okaidja, as an interested party in the suit.
In granting judgement in favour of the applicant, the judge accordingly restored the name of Nii Ayi Bonte II to the National Register of Chiefs as the Gbese Mantse of the Ga State.
Recounting the antecedent of the case in his ruling, Justice Quist said the applicant was installed as Gbese Mantse on April 27, 2007, whereupon the respondent claiming also to be the Gbese Mantse, was declared so by an Accra High Court on January 1, 2008.
He said the applicant appealed against the decision at the Court of Appeal, however, the court upheld the decision of the High Court.
Justice Quist said the applicant further appealed to the Supreme Court and by a 4-1 majority decision, the Supreme Court gave judgement in favour of the applicant.
He said the respondent, however through his legal counsel, caused the name of the applicant to be removed from the register of the National House of Chiefs without any recourse to the applicant, as required by the rules of natural justice.
Justice Quist said purporting to act as the Gbese Mantse, the respondent took steps to outdoor the interested party, Nii Okai Keteku, as Shippi of the Gbese Stool.
He said by a judgement of the High Court in Kumasi, Justice Jacob Boon on November 7, 2014, ordered the name of the applicant to be restored in the National House of Chiefs as the Gbese Mantse, and the order was carried out by A. K. Essien, acting Registrar of the National House of Chiefs.
Justice Quist said a Court of Appeal on February 17, 2015, dismissed a motion filed by the respondent to suspend the order of the High Court.
He said the Judicial Committee of the Ga Traditional Council on February 10, 2015, also ruled in favour of the applicant and restrained the respondent from using the title Nii Okaidja III and granted a perpetual injunction restraining the respondent from holding himself out as the Gbese Mantse.
Justice Quist, therefore, said under the Ga custom, the interested party who was purportedly installed as Shippi of the Ga State would have to swear his customary oath of allegiance to Nii Ayi Bonte II, the Gbese Mantse, and not the respondent.