The Judicial Committee of the Akwamu Traditional Council in the Eastern Region has ordered the destoolment of the Queen Mother of Sakyikrom, near Nsawam, Nana Agyakwabia Akyeampomaa II for gross misconduct and attempt to install another chief at Sakyikrom while the substantive is alive and has not been destooled.
The Council also awarded an amount of Twenty Thousand Ghana Cedis [GH¢20,000.00] against Nana Agyakwabia Akyeampomaa II.
The Council has given the queen makers of Sakyikrom 30-days from the day of its ruling, Thursday, January 19, 2023, to ensure the queen mother is distooled.
The Council, made up of Nana Kwaku Budu Akomeah V as the Chairman, and two members, Nana Kwasi Okona IV and Nana Ofori Kyekyire II adjudicated the litigation in a matter between Nana Osae Anka IV and six others and Nana Agyakwabia Akyeampomaa II.
Nana Osae Anka IV who is the Chief of Sakyikrom and six others are the plaintiffs in the suit while Nana Agyakwabia Akyeampomaa II who is until this ruling the queen mother of Sakyikrom is the defendant.
Below is the full details of the judgment:
IN THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE AKWAMU TRADITIONAL COUNCIL HELD ON THURSDAY 19TH JANUARY, 2023, AT THE BOGYAWE PALACE, AKWAMUFIE BEFORE:
NANA KWAKU BUDU AKOMEAH V – CHAIRMAN
NANA KWASI OKONA IV – MEMBER
NANA OFORI KYEKYIRE II – MEMBERS
IN ATTENDANCE, GILBERT LARBI SENIOR REGISTRAR/RECORDER
IN THE MATTER OF:-
NANA OSAE ANKA IV AND 6 OTHERS – PLAINTIFFS
NANA AGYAKWABIA AKYEAMPOMAA II – DEFENDANT
On 19th August, 2022, the plaintiffs, herein, filed a writ against the defendant, herein seeking the reliefs hereunder:
a. A declaration for an order of the judicial committee of the Akwamu Traditional Council endorsing the institution of the instant action for the disposition of the defendant, herein as the Sakyikrom Hema due to her uncustomary, unconstitutional, and improper behavior, conduct, and action of invoking a curse against the plaintiff herein the overall Abusuapayin of the Oyoko ruling Family and his generation.
b. A declaration that the defendant herein doesn’t qualify to continue occupy the Oyoko Royal Stool of Sakyikrom, since her behavior, conduct, and actions continue to defile the stool.
c. A declaration for an order of Judicial Committee declaring the defendant herein liable for disposition, its recommendation, and approval destoolment from her position as the Sakyikromhemaa.
d. A declaration for an order of the Committee compelling the defendant herein to pay the arbitration award and to perform the requisite customary rituals of invoking the curse at Sakyikrom and vacate the Oyoko Royal Ruling Stool of Sakyikrom
e. An order for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from holding herself out and putting up as the Ohemea of Sakyikrom
f. A declaration and order that defendant herein by herself, her agents, agencies, privies, and or whosoever from holding out the defendant as the Ohemea of Sakyikrom and also restraining them from holding up the defendant as Ohemea of Sakyikrom
g. A declaration by the Akwamu Traditional Council that, the entry made in National House Register of Chiefs, (if any) proclaimed the defendant herein as Sakyikrom Hemea should be expunged.
h. A punitive cost of three hundred thousand (GH¢3,000.00) against the defendant in favour of the plaintiff herein and the Royal Ruling Family, the chiefs and elders of Sakyikrom and the Akwamu Traditional Council to serve as deterrent to others from invoking curse at Sakyikrom”.
In a stamen of the plaintiff’s case, the plaintiff related the 1st Plaintiff in the Chief of Sakyikrom, having been so nominated, elected, installed, and enstooled as the Chief of Sakyikrom in 2014. That, the 2nd plaintiff herein is the Abusuapanyin of Aba Tawiah Royal Ruling House and the overall Abusuapanyin of Boafi Royal Ruling House and the overall Abusuapanyin of Oyoko Family of Sakyikrom.
That, the 3rd plaintiff herein, is the Abusuapanyin of Boafi Royal Ruling House of Sakyikrom Stool of Sakyikrom. That the 4th, 5th, 6th and the 7th plaintiffs herein are family members of Oyoko Royal Ruling Stool who are directly affected by the suit herein.
The defendants herein is the female occupant of the Oyoko Royal Ruling stool as the Ohemea of Sakyikrom. That the dynasty of Oyoko Royal Ruling family Stool of Sakyikrom comprise the descendants of Aba Tawiah, Boafi, and Agyankwabea. That, the plaintiff herein, Abusuapanyin Kofi Owusu is the Abusuapanyin of Aba Tawiah and the overall Abusuapanyin of the Oyoko Royal Ruling Family. Abusuapanyin Amadi Yamoah, and Abusuapanyin Osaabo are the Abusuapanyin of the Agyakwabea and the Boafi House of the Royal House respectively. That there are the accredited elders and the principal traditional title holders of the Oyoko Royal Ruling Family of Sakyikrom customary and jointly installed Nana Osae ANka IV the 1st plaintiff herein and Nana Agyankwabea III, the defendant herein occupy their respective position as the Ohene and Ohemea of Sakyikrom and further presented them to the Akwamu Traditional Council in accordance with the norms, traditions, and usages of Sakyikrom through the Kronti Division of the Akwamu Traditional Area.
That about two years ago, the chief of Sakyikrom, Nana Osae Anka IV requested permission and took leave to travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.
Notwithstanding his stay in the United Kingdom, he periodically remits the royal family for the performance of all required customary and traditional obligations and the stool.
That, in the absence of the chief, there were subsequent reports of some indiscipline and rampant invocation of curses (NNUABO) in the society, amongst the inhabitants of Sakyikrom, using the name of Obo Abenaa, Densu, and some dissident spirit to invoke the curses; which Nana Hemeam Agyakwabea Akyeampomaa III and the elders of Sakyikrom did not take it lightly.
That following the above reports, on Saturday, 5th September, 2020 at the 7th Dapaa ceremony held at Sakyikrom, Nana Agyakwabea Akeampomaa III, Ohemean of Sakyikrom, and the defendant herein and the elders of Sakyikrom placed a total ban on cursing (NNUABO) at Sakyikrom for being a Taboo which destroys a generation of people. That after the imposition of the ban on cursing at Sakyikrom, Nana Agyankwabea Akyeampomaa III, Sakyikrom Hemea, cautioned and insisted that whoever is held responsible for invoking a curse would severely be dealt with by Nananom and would be sanctioned to pay a punitive fine of seven (7) creates of eggs, Twenty (20) tubers of Yam, Three (3) Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢3000.00), seven (7) sheep, seven (7) bottles of Castle Bridge to invoke the curse to serve as a deterrent to the society.
That, somewhere along the line, there were circulating rumours alleging that some people are planning for an installation of another chief as Sakyikromhene; since he the 2nd plaintiff had very good relationship with Nana Hemea, the defendant herein, he consulted her on the rumours which they both doubted. Surprisingly, the defendant herein indulged in the installation of one Percy as another chief of Sakyikrom to occupy the same stool ascended by Nana Osae Anka IV the 1st plaintiff herein whom they had permitted for medical treatment in the United Kingdom.
That, it was in the processes of the said I installation performance, that the defendant herein, Nana Agyakwabea Akyeampomaa III, poured libation at Aburi in the alleged chief’s house and cursed the 2nd plaintiff herein and his generation with Obo Abenaa, Densu, etc; an act which was videoed and published in the New Crusading Guide of 25th April, 2022.
That conduct of Nana Sakyikromhemea was reported to Nana Afrakoma, Akwamuhemea, however, Nana Opponwa, the Akwamu Krontiohemea under whose customary jurisdiction that Sakyikrom falls intervened for settlement of the case.
The case was heard, and at the final sitting Nana Agyakwabea Akyeampomaa III, the defendant herein, did not attend personally but delegated Abusuapanyin Osaebo of the Agyakwabea house to represent her. The elders of Akwamu who heard the case in their verdict requested that the Sakyikrom Hemea the defendant herein, should pay a fine of Five Hundred Ghana Cedis to pacify Abusuapanyin Kofi Owusu for the curse invoked against him and his generation.
That the Sakyikrom Hemea was further requested to pay the total cost of expenses incurred by Abusuapanyin Kofi Owusu for the determination of the case at the Akwamu and also ensure to perform the required customary rituals for the revocation of the curse following what pertains at Sakyikrom.
That, the defendant herein, after the payment of the pacification fee of Five Hundred Ghana cedis (GH¢5000.00) had refused to honour the orders given by the elders to perform and have their curse against the 2nd plaintiff and his generation be revoked; whereas she, the defendant herein was the main administrator of imposition of the ban on cursing at Sakyikrom.
That, to their outmost surprise, Nana Agyakwabea Akyeampomaa III, Sakyikromhemea, the defendant herein had woefully refused to provide the fine for the performance of the required rituals by the elders of Sakyikrom to revoke the curse against them.
That, with the said conduct, behavior, and action of the defendant herein, the Ohemea of Sakyikrom who double as the mother of the Royal Family and the town of Sakyikrom, contravenes, defiles her reputation and her royal position as the Sakyikromhemea. And that he is therefore not customary qualified and properly fit to continue occupying and holding the said prominent and high position as the Sakyikromhemea.
In the statement of defence filed on 9th September 2022, the defendant herein denies paragraph 1 of the statement of claim and further responded to paragraph 1 and says she has never made any uncustomary, unconstitutional remarks.
The defendant herein stated again that, she has not shown or misbehaved in any way or conduct herself in a manner that brought her position as a queen mother into disrepute.
The defendant herein according to her, knows the negative implication and the effect of a curse therefore never did that and will not do that as the plaintiffs are alleging. She again denied paragraph 2 and stated that she lived above reproach since she was enstooled as queen mother. Thus she has always conducted herself well.
She further denied paragraph 3 and stated that the statement is a false allegation. She denies and opposed paragraph 4 therefore does not owe or committed any such offence to perform pacification to reverse a curse. Again, she denied paragraphs 5 and 6 and stated that she has not done any wrong or crime for an injunction to be placed on her. She also opposed paragraph 7 and stated that she has comported herself very well, stands sacred, and is fit to carry on her functions as Ohemea.
She adduced further in her statement of defence that, the 1st plaintiff is not the Chief of Sakyikrom; He is not qualified to be elected as a Chief because he does not fall within the matrilineal lineage. And that he was made to act for some time for a reason for a short period and he was not the substantive Chief. He has since been destooled and banned from acting in any chieftaincy activity. And that, at the time of filing the writ, he the 1st plaintiff was not the substantive chief and therefore does not have the capacity to institute this suit against the defendant.
Again, the defendant claimed that the 1st plaintiff has committed a serious and adulterous crime, i.e, sleeping with the wives of two people in Sakyikrom which he could not deny and has pacify their husbands and paid compensation to that effect and that the 1st plaintiff has committed serious crimes that makes him unclean to call himself chief and that, 1st plaintiff herein is not gazetted and is not officially known as chief.
The defendant again pointed out in her defence that, Sakyikrom has three (3 gates which are Ama Tawiah, Boafi, and Agyakwabea and the chieftaincy position or inheritance rotates among the three gates. And that, the 1st plaintiff’s family is not due to head because he is from Ama Tawiah lineage and it is not their time to elect a chief and claimed the plaintiffs herein are claiming false and therefore the writ and the claims should be dismissed with punitive cost.
The Judicial Committee scheduled sitting for November, 2022, but when hearing notice were served the defendant instructed her lawyer to write to seek for adjournment due to the Odwira festival and her inability to show up or appear for the hearing. Another date was scheduled for 14th December, 2022, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th plaintiffs herein were present while the 4th and 5th were absent due to medical reasons. The defendant on the other hand was absent but sent one Nana Ansah Aboah to represent her.
Before hearing, Rev William Kwame Adomako, Pastor of Presbyterian Church of Ghana Sakyikrom, and Rev Afi Aboagye Dacosta, Pastor of the Methodist Church Sakyikrom pleaded with the Committee that, they have spoken to the parties and have agreed to resolve the matter and that the committee should permit them to withdraw the case out of court.
The committee requested the defence to be in court in person and hear from her before they can grant the request. And that the one representing the defendant cannot act on her behalf because he holds no power of attorney and can challenge the committee in the future.
The hearing was then adjourned to 11th January, 2023, for the committee to hear from the defendant herein before they can accept the request from the Pastors to settle the matter out of court.
During the hearing on 11th January, 2023, the defendant herein did not show up but rather instructed her lawyer to write to the registrar that the matter had already been resolved by the Kronti Division of Akwamu and there is not issue to further adjudicate and that based on the peaceful settlement her client being the defendant herein will not avail herself to the Akwamu Traditional Council for any further sitting on this suit.
Based on the above the plaintiffs were asked whether the matter had been resolved as it was indicated by the defendant’s lawyer which they responded on the negative.
A cost of Five Thousand Ghana Cedis was awarded against the Defendant for not respecting the court and wasting the time of the court. The court further ordered the registrar to issue a hearing notice to the defendant through her lawyer for nest adjourned date thus 19th January, 2023.
On the 19th January, 2023, when the case was mentioned the defendant was not in court nor represented, the committee, therefore, viewed the days of her absence and the letter from the lawyer indicating her client will not avail herself to the Traditional Council to mean her refusal to appear before the Committee and therefore relied on L.I 198 Regulation 8 (4) which states that, “where a defendant fails to appear at the time of the trial the judicial committee may, if it think fit, proceed to hear the case and give it decision”.
The Committee therefore, decided to give the plaintiffs a hearing. Giving evidence through the 2nd plaintiff Abusuapanyin Kofi Owusu indicated that they no problem with the defendant herein and that he was the opne who led her to be introduced to the Kronti Division of Akwamu and to the Akwamu Traditional Council, he tendered a picture of himself and the defendant buttressing his point, it was accepted for study by the Panel and was marked exhibit ‘A’. He then told the court that, they stand on their statement of the case they filed and that the court should stand on it in giving their ruling.
He again tendered a pen drive of a video supporting their claim of the defendant herein invoking the curse on the 2nd plaintiff herein. It was accepted by the Panel for study and marked as exhibit ‘B’. He further tendered another document which is titled KRONTI RESOLUTION TO SAKYIKROM DISPUTE also indicating the defendant herein disrespect to her superiors as indicated in their statement of case. It was accepted by the Panel and same was marked as exhibit ‘C’.
Having listened to the evidence adduced, the committee was convinced that, the enstoolment of one Percy as Sakyikromhene by the defendant herein while the incumbent Chief the 1st plaintiff herein, had not been destooled and having asked permission to seek medical attention in the united Kingdom was unconstitutional.
Even though the defendant herein sought of explanation that, 1st plaintiff herein is not the substantive chief at the time of filing the writ and had not capacity to institute the suit against the defendant herein is questionable. According to the plaintiffs’ statement of the case, the 1st plaintiff herein is the chief of Sakyikrom who sought permission to seek medical attention in the United Kingdom. The defendat in her defence as per her statement of defence did not indicate whether the 1st plaintiff herein had been destooled, disposed of had abdicate the stool as Sakyikromhene. We are therefore of the opinion that, 1st plaintiff herein still holds his position as the Chief of Sakyikrom.
The none registration in the National Register of Chiefs does not mean a chief properly enstooled is not a chief, but rather it is only statutory functions that a chief who is gazette cannot perform and that the assertion by the defendant herein that 1st plaintiff is not gazetted and is not officially known as a chief is neither here nor there.
The invocation of curse by the defendant herein as charged by the plaintiffs was not proper. Per exhibit D tendered by the plaintiffs herein during cross-examination by the panel reveals a ban on curse on Sakyikrom land which defendant participated in drafting of that decree by the chief of Sakyikrom. One may ask why someone who participated in giving a decree may fall foul of it. Exhibit ‘B’ is a pen drive showing a video evidence of defendant herein invoking curses on 2nd plaintiff herein. This act and actions of the defendant was improper and does not befit her status as a queenmother.
Again the committee also agree with plaintiffs that, defendant refusal to adhere to the directives by the Kronti Resolution and even indicating to them that she the defendant herein had nothing to do with the Kronti Stoll of Akwamu and that she had nothing to offer for the purification of Sakyikrom and the reversal of her curse of the 2nd plaintiff herein confirms the conduct, behaviour, and actions of the defendant herein as not customary qualified and properly fit to continue occupying and holding the position of Sakyikromhemea.
We hereby by a unanimous decision enter judgment for the plaintiffs and order as follows:
a. That the defendant has no legal right to enstool a chief while the 1st plaintiff had not been destooled as the Sakyikromhene and therefore the purported installation of Percy as the Sakyikromhene while the I incumbent chief had not bee destooled is illegal and same declared null and void
b. That the defendant herein should as a matter of urgency reverse the curse invoked on the 2nd plaintiff herein within fourteen (14) days from the day of the judgment and adhere to the directives given by the Kronti of Akwamu during the resolution
c. That the conduct of the defendant herein was improper which has defiled her position as Sakyikromhemea and direct Kingmakers of Sakyikrom queen mother’s Stool toproceed with her destoolment within thirty (30) day from today
d. That the defendant herein and her supporters should hand over all possessions and occupation of the Palace to the 1st plaintiff as well as other stool properties in their possession within thirty (30) days from today
e. A cost of twenty thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢20,000.00) is awarded to the plaintiffs
Nana Kwaku Budu Akomeah V
Nana Kwasi Akona IV
Nana Ofori Kyekyire II