The National House of Chiefs by a four: one majority decision yesterday dismissed a petition that sought to challenge the installation of Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, as the Paramount Chief of Akwamu, in the Eastern Region.
By the ruling, the National House of Chiefs has upheld the judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, which initially sat on the matter.
Meanwhile, the petitioners have two weeks to file an appeal, according to the House of Chiefs.
It was a joyous moment when Odeneho Akoto III, stepped out of the hall to be greeted by his supporters who burst into jubilation with some of the youth among them jumping to punch the air to welcome the verdict after eight years of dispute.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times after the verdict, Odeneho Akoto III, was full of praise for all the gallant men and women of Akwamu who stood by his side throughout the period that he described “as a rite of passage for fortification in patience, self-discipline and perseverance.”
Thanking his opponents for making him a stronger person, he called on all citizens of Akwamu to come on board to build a strong community saying “this is the only place we have and there is no point in fighting, litigation is not necessary, let us come together and accept the verdict, because we have so many things to make Akwamu great again.”
He said “people of Akwamu, I cannot express how proud I am to be your Omanhene, as always, I call on you to see this chapter as a new beginning, resolving with confidence to embrace the task of rebuilding our homeland by coming together with even stronger sense of purpose; like the many sticks that make a broom, let us in unity sweep out the past misunderstandings, so that with clean chapter, we may enjoy prosperity together.”
Known in private life as Bernard Owiredu, he was installed as a Paramount Chief in 2011, succeeding Odeneho Kwafo Akoto II, who passed on in 1992.
But, as soon as he was installed, there was a petition against him before the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, challenging his claim and right to be installed.
The matter went for a full trial and the House, after due diligence threw out the case by a five member panel unanimous decision in favour of the Paramount Chief.
Not satisfied, the petitioner took the matter up again at the National House of Chiefs which also has ruled to sustain the judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs.
Throwing more light, the Gyasewahene, Nana Semanhyia Darko, said there were of two factions, the Yaa Botwe and Yaa Ansah families.
The Yaa Ansah family, he said felt peeved claiming they were not consulted in connection with the nomination and installation of Odeneho Akoto III, which was not true.
According to Nana Darko, the Gyaase screened and got the nod from the Oman, the five pillars of Akwamu, and after the installation, the Paramount Chief swore the oath of allegiance.
The five members of the judicial committee are Pimampim Yaw Kagbrese VI, Paramount Chief of Yeji; Awulae Attibrukusu II Paramount Chief of Lower Axim; Obrempon Appiah Nuamah II Paramount Chief of Twifo; Naaba Sigri Bewong, Paramount Chief of Sakoti and Okatakyi Amenfi VII, Paramount chief of Asebu .
FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, KUMASI