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Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III is a ‘self-styled’ Akwamumanhene – Kumasi High Court rules

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Kwabena Owiredu, Self-styled Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III

The Yaa Ansaa Royal Family of Akwamu in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region has appealed to the government, institutions, public and private organizations, as well as all well-meaning Ghanaians, to desist from engaging one Kwabena Owiredu as Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, Akwamumanhene.

According to the Royal family, anyone who goes ahead to deal with the disputed chief, does so at their own risk, especially at a time the Kumasi High Court, has ruled in their favour that the said man is a mere ‘self-styled’ chief.

The family’s admonishment comes on the heels of a ruling after an application for contempt against the secretary of the family, Owusu Bruku, was dismissed by the court.

The self-styled Omanhene had filed a suit under Section 36 (1) of the Court Act, 1993 (Act 459) on November 11, 2019, and prayed the court to convict the respondent, Owusu Bruku, to prison for contempt of court for his conduct in casting aspersions on the judgment of the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs dated May 23, 2019.

The November 11, 2019 application was, however, dismissed on February 3, 2020 by the court.

In his ruling, the judge, Justice Francis Obiri, said, he could not grant the wish of the applicant because he did not see how the respondent’s request to know if Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III name, has been entered into the National Register of Chiefs as Omanhene of Akwamu Traditional Area, could amount to contempt.

“In my candid opinion, I do not see how such a question could meet any of the requirements which have been stated above to prove contempt of court. I do not think it prejudices the judgement of the National House of Chiefs in any way,” the judge’s ruling said.

The applicant then proceeded to the Kumasi High Court ‘4’ presided over by Justice C. A Wilson to file an ex-parte motion for contempt against the respondent alleging that he was in contempt of court.

However, the court in its ruling on March 24, 2020, dismissed the ex-parte motion and awarded a sum of GHC5,000.00 (five thousand Ghana cedis) judgment to the respondent, Owusu Bruku.

Part of the ruling by Justice Wilson read, “As a general rule a party who is aggrieved by a decision of a Judicial or adjudicating body may challenge or appeal the decision to a higher court to have the decision reversed or vacated even if the applicant is to be affected by the decision he may equally appeal.”

“The alleged contemnor has sought to appeal the decision of the National House of Chiefs and, he cannot be debarred from doing so. The burden of proof necessary to sustain a charge of perjury is tremendously heavy and it is not met in this application.”

“The respondent’s conduct therefore cannot form the basis to a citation for contempt. The application is dismissed, cost of GHc5, 000.00 (Five Thousand Ghana Cedis) awarded in favour of the Respondent,” the Court ruled.

The Yaa Ansaa Royal Family Secretary, Owusu Bruku, had written to the National House of Chiefs, Kumasi, requesting a search to ascertain if Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, has been entered into the National House of Chiefs records as Omanhene of Akwamu Traditional Area.

The House in its response answered in the negative.

The National House of Chiefs Registrar per its findings, also revealed that Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, could not perform statutory functions as Omanhene.

The Registrar indicated that, since the demise of Odeneho Kwafo Akoto II some 28 years ago, no name has been entered into the Register as the Akwamumanhene.

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