House of Chiefs 'catches' chieftaincy minister with fake documents
Trouble appears to be rearing its head in parts of the country over the Akufo-Addo government’s attempts to infiltrate the ranks of the various traditional areas with lower chiefs perceived to be sympathetic to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), as paramount chiefs.
But some of the chiefs, have begun vehemently resist the clandestine move spearheaded by the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, with some going as far as suing government and also petitioning state bodies and individuals, to call these government appointees to order, before they spark crisis within the traditional setup.
One of such chiefs, is the respected President of the Central Region House of Chiefs, Obrempong Nyanfoe Krampah XI, who is specifically accusing the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, Kofi Dzamesi for among others, smuggling the name of an NPP sympathizer in the Region to be gazetted as a paramount chief of Gomoa Afransi.
The traditional ruler described the minister’s act as “Criminal in nature and can discredit the hard-earned reputation of the government in power as the nation is nearing an election year”.
The Herald has gathered that, a similar action has been taken in Kete-Krachi in the Oti Region, leading to a lawsuit against the government by the President of the Krachi Traditional Council, Nana Mprah Besenuna III, over what he described as an unlawful decision to inaugurate the Nchumuru Traditional Council in contravention of the country’s chieftaincy laws.
Nana Besenuna’s case is that the elevation of one of his divisional chiefs, Nana Obrempong Kanya II, to the position of a Paramount Chief, was an act that kicks both tradition and the law in the groin.
He, therefore, went to court to seek an interlocutory injunction to restrain the government from going ahead to inaugurate the Nchumuru Traditional Council on January 17, 2020.
An application for interlocutory injunction filed at the High Court by O.K. Osafo-Buabeng, solicitor for the plaintiff, named the Attorney General, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Nana Obrempong Kanya, the Bejamsehene of Krachi-Nchumuru, as defendants, but in spite of the court action, the programme was held on January 20, 2020.
In the case of Obrempong Nyanfoe Krampah, he has petitioned several state bodies and personalities, including the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Aaron Oquaye, accusing the Minister for unconstitutionally creating a Legislative Instrument (L.I) for Gomoa Afransi to become Paramountcy.
His petition, dated Monday, December 16, 2019, and copied to President Akufo-Addo, Parliament, the Supreme Court, the Inspector General of Police (IGP)and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) headquarters, but it appears none of these personalities and institution, has given the issue the needed attention.
He said, “on Tuesday 10th December 2019, the Research and Traditional Affairs Committee presented a report to the Standing Committee of the National House of Chiefs on Wednesday 11th December 2019 and to the full National House of Chiefs on the Thursday 12th December 2019”.
According to him, nowhere in the said report, did they mention Gomoa Afransi in the Members of Central Region House of Chiefs to be gazetted as a paramount chief.
The petition, intercepted by The Herald, said the information gathered by the National House of Chiefs indicates that Mr Dzamasi without informing the House, went to the Parliamentary Select Committee with a chief who is not a member of the House of Chiefs, and without the endorsement of the House, “Presented fictitious documents which included the name of Gomoa Afransi, to be gazetted with a new Legislative Instrument as a Paramountcy”.
Obrempong Nyanfoe Krampah, showed the list of members of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, as originally presented by the National House of Chiefs to the ParliamentarySelect Committee, through the Ministry of Chieftaincy, and vividly showed Assin Owirenkyi as the last Member of the Central Regional House of Chiefs.
He presented documents to prove how fictitious some of the documents presented by the Chieftaincy Minister to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Special Legislation were as it contains Gomoa Afransi as the last member of the Regional House of Chiefs instead of Assin Owirenkyi.
Meanwhile, to further expose the Minister, on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, members of the House of Chiefs, in a General Meeting “Also made a resolution against the elevation of Gomoa Afransi as Paramountcy.
The petition, which again contained attachment opposing Gomoa Afransi as possible paramountcy during the General Meeting,said every concern by the petitioner, Obrempong Nyanfoe Krampah XI, Omanhene of Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Areawho doubles as the President of the Regional House of Chiefs, was ignored by the Minister as he went on to insert
the name of Gomoa Afransi.
The action of the Chieftaincy Minister, the petitioner decried has the tendency to derail efforts that have been made in the chieftaincy institution, adding “this behavior of the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs is a deliberate attempt to bring the Chieftaincy institution into disrupt”.
On October 7, 2019, Obrempong Nyanfoe Krampah XI in a rejoinder to the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi in response to a petition for the elevation of Afransi Stool to paramountcy, explained why the said request must not be granted.
He revealed the history behind the area insisting there are 31 divisional statuses under Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area of with the Afransi stool,is just holding an Odikro position and hence can’t be made a paramountcy.
He emphasized his stance saying “as the Paramount Chief of Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area, I am not ready to elevate Gomoa Afransi which just occupies an Odikro Stool to the status of paramountcy”, adding “there are also 50 towns and 27 villages under Gomao Ajumako of which Gomoa Afransi is one”.