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E/R: Residents in Akropong embark on a vigil procession as Okuapehene gazetted

Hundreds of residents in Akropong-Akuapem embarked on a vigil procession during the weekend to celebrate the gazetting of Okuapehene Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III.

Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III was gazetted on October 5, 2022, following a judgment by the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs on September 29, 2022, dismissing the appeal filed by the Queenmother of Okuapeman Nana Obuo Nketia II and three other petitioners challenging the legitimacy of Abrewatia (Oldest women in the family) Lilly Agyemang of Sakyiabea royal family in nominating a candidate for enstoolment as Okuapehene.

Clad in all-white dresses, the residents marched on the streets of the Akropong amid singing and dancing.

Addressing the gathering, the convener of the vigil, Barima Asiedu Offei, presiding member for Akuapem North also an Elder at the Palace said Okuapehene has been duly gazetted after all the divisional chiefs and Kingmakers signed in agreement that he has been legitimately enstooled.

“By God’s grace, Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III has been gazetted. Before every chief is gazetted, the process begins from the traditional council. It is the Kingmakers and the divisional chiefs who will sign before it is sent to the Regional House of Chiefs in Koforidua. Otoobuor Gyan Kwasi was part, Benkumhene was part, Krontihene, Gyaasehene, and Nifahene were all part of the signatories. So it was forwarded from Koforidua, and to the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi”

Barimah Asiedu Offei stated that Okuapeman is a duly gazetted chief therefore anyone who says otherwise is being disingenuous.

“So anyone who tells you there is no chief in Akropong, writing letters to Abrewatia to bring a new Candidate seems to be at a loss they don’t understand the process. Because if there is no Okuapehene why will the divisional chiefs swear to him and he also swear to them? So there is no place for the petitioners to win this case. All that we need is peace and unity. Nobody should fight over this chieftaincy issue. We are one people so those insulting president Akufo Addo and insulting the House of Chiefs why aren’t they attacking the Kingmakers and the Divisional-chiefs too”.

Barima Asiedu Offei, had earlier urged the Queenmother of Okuapeman, Nana Obuo Nketiaa II and the petitioners must render an unqualified apology to President Akufo Addo over their unwarranted insults on his personality and false accusations of allegedly meddling in the Akropong chieftaincy affairs.

Barimah Asiedu Offei said, the judgment vindicates President Akufo Addo that he never meddled and manipulated tradition and customs in the enstoolment of Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III as Okuapehene.

“They have to apologize to His Excellence the President because he hails from the town but they lied against him and made false accusations about him. So if we want proper unity, they have to apologize to the President, they have to apologize to Nana Kwasi Akuffo III they have to apologize to all of us.”

He said Okuapeman needs peace to develop therefore the petitioners must reconcile.

“We don’t need that money that has been slapped on them. It is not the fine that we need, we need Unity we need peace. But they have to apologize to all of us so we can all move together because if we don’t unite there will not be development so we need that peace and unity.”

Background

Three Royal Houses namely: Nketia House, Ama Ogyaa House, and Sakyiabea House ascend the Ofori Kuma stool and that has been codified under the declaration of the customary law (Akuapem State) order, 1960, L.I. 32. The L.I. further provides that these three houses ascend on a rotational basis and when it is a house’s turn, it is that house that nominates.

Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa III passed away in 2015 after reigning for 35 years which is the longest reigning period since the formation of the Akuapem State.

Lilly Agyemang Abrewatia of Sakyiabea royal house whose turn is to nominate a candidate settled on Odehye Kwadwo Kesse Antwi ( the current Okuapehene) and presented him to the Asonahene to be given to the Queenmother to present to the Kingmakers.

Surprisingly, the Queenmother Nana Obuo Nketiaa II added another name Odehye Kwasi Akuffo who is the nephew of Odehye Kwadwo Kesse Antwi creating confusion which stalled the process even though eight(8) out of the eleven(11) Kingmakers backed Odehye Kwadwo Kesse Antwi.

The two candidates were all separately enstooled by the two factions deepening dispute on the enstoolment process.

This compelled the Abrewatia Lilly Agyemang to initiate a suit at the judicial committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs in 2019 to set the record straight that pursuant to L.I. 32 and the customs of Okuapeman, it is not the preserve of the Queenmother to solely nominate the Okuapehene which the Judicial committee upheld and entered a judgement in her favour on April 30,2020, and restrained Odehye Kwasi Akuffo from carrying himself as the chief of Okuapeman.

On May 1, 2020 Odehye Kwadwo Kesse Antwi was presented to the Kingmakers and all due processes were followed for his enstoolment as Okuapehene as the consequential orders of the judicial committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs directed.

On May 3, 2020 Odehye Kwadwo Kesse Antwi was sworn-in with the stool name His Royal Majesty Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III to become the 26th occupant of the Ofori Kuma stool.

All five divisional chiefs also swore an oath of allegiance to the Okuapehene same day.

However, dissatisfied with the judgment of the Eastern regional house of chiefs and subsequent events thereafter, the Queenmother Nana Obuo Nketiaa II and three others appealed against the judgment at the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs at the National House of Chiefs.

However, On 29th September, 2022, when the judicial committee of the National House of Chiefs sat, it Ominously dismissed the appeal filed by the Queenmother and her 3 other associates and affirmed the judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs.

The judicial committee mulcted the appellants with Ghc50,000.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Kojo Ansah

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