By Frank Amponsah
The Eastern Regional House of Chiefs has ordered two feuding paramount chiefs: Kwesi Akuffo and Kesse Antwi of the Akropong Traditional area to stop parading themselves as Okuapenhene, until further notice.
According to the Regional House of Chiefs, the case over who should be the rightful overlord of the Akropong Paramoutcy is currently before the Judicial Committee receiving attention.
Kwesi Akuffo and Kesse Antwi are not to parade themselves as the Okuapenhene and also not to carry out any activity in the fourth coming Odwira Festival in any form or shape, either statutory or customary.
The position of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs was made known in a two-page ruling on the petition filed by Lily Agyemang against the Paramount queen mother, Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II and three others to the Regional House of Chiefs’ Judicial Committee, chaired by Okotwasuo Kanatamanto Amanto Owoarae Agyekum III, Nene Sakite II and Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, as members at its sitting last Monday.
In its ruling, the Judicial Committee averred that after having heard counsel for the Petitioner [Lily Agyemang] and, Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II, Kwesi Akuffo and Kesse Antwi who are the Respondents it has to take the current decision.
The Okuapemhene Stool has remained vacant for the past three years after the demise of Oseadeeyo Nana Addo Dankwah III, due to a dispute that was believed to have emanated from the Sakyibea Royal family, whose turn it was to nominate an heir to the vacant stool.
In the process towards the selection of the Okuapehene, two factions, last year; emerged from the Sakyebea Royal Family, each claiming to be the rightful gate to choose the next Okuapemhene to succeed the late Oseadeyo Addo Dankwah III, who ruled for 41 years before his demise.
Odehyie Kwasi Akuffo, a 63-year-old retired journalist and businessman and one Nana Kesse, were installed in separate functions on the same day as the next Okuapemhene respectively.
The Paramount queen mother, Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II then settled on Odehyie Kwasi Akuffo, and installed as the new Okuapemhene, but another group from the same Sakyeabea royal family preferred Nana Kese, who was installed as the paramount chief, thereby creating tension at Akropong.
Odehyie Kwasi Akuffo was subsequently given the stool name Nana Oboubi Atiemo II as the Okuapemhene-elect.
Back and forth, the factions that were against the queenmother’s nominee filed a contempt application against the Okuapemhemaa, and 12 others at the Koforidua High Court.
But the court, presided over by Justice Cecilia Naa Shormeh Davis, after hearing, threw the case out on the bases that, the respondents had not defied a court injunction which was restraining both factions from engaging in any chieftaincy activities.
Ahead of this, the National Security operatives and some police officers in the process to restore peace in the area took over the palace and ended up arresting Nana Kwasi Omenako II, head of the Asona Family of Okuapeman and Tufuhene of Akropong, Nana Yaw Ampem Darko, known in private life as George Darko, the popular highlife musician, who composed the hitsong ‘Ako Te Brofo’.
Meanwhile, after the intervention by National Security, the seven-member committee, which was formed on December 22, 2017 by the Akuapem Traditional Council to resolve the chieftaincy dispute, was dissolved.
Meanwhile, the case pending the Judicial Committee has been adjourned to 29th August, 31st August and 3rd September, 2018 respectively.