In what was surely one of the biggest news items of 2020, the revered chief of Bantama, Baffuor Owusu Amankwatia IV, knelt before the overlord of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II to plead for clemency after he was nearly destooled.
Below is how this portal reported the news on July 22, 2020.
In an unusual spectacle at the Manhyia Palace today, the Bantamahene, Baffuor Owusu Amankwatia IV, was nearly destooled by the Asantehene today, after it came to light that he had acted in bad faith.
Nana Bantamahene, the head of the Kronti division of the Asante Kingdom was dragged before the King after a delegation of sub-chiefs sent to the Race Course Market came back with confirmation that he had encroached on parts of the land and also diverted the course of the Subin River for his private gain.
The Bantamahene was said to have forcefully taken over parts of the Race Course land for the construction of shops; he has also filled portions of the Subin River with sand and diverted its course.
This greatly infuriated the Asantehene, who threatened to destool him after a vote of no confidence had been passed by all the linguists present at the meeting who accused the Bantamahene of acting in bad faith and gross insubordination.
However, after a plea for mercy by all the divisions present at the meeting, the Asantehene Otumfuor Osei Tutu II tampered justice with mercy, warning Baffuor Amankwatia to go and sin no more.
The King immediately directed that all permanent structures on Race Course lands be immediately demolished and the course of the Subin River restored.
Archives: When Akufo-Addo Defeated Tsatsu Tsikata In Court In 1980 – Read Details Here
Following yesterday’s 5:0 Supreme Court ruling in favour of Godfred Yeboah Dame against the renowned Tsatsu Tsikata, there were claims and counterclaims that President Akufo-Addo, whiles a practising lawyer, defeated Tsatsu Tsikata in court in 1980.
This portal, in order to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the claims, combed into the archives of the Ghana Law Report, specifically the  GLR 3.
This portal ascertained the claims to be true that Lawyer Akufo-Addo, then as counsel for the Chief of Mampong Ashanti won in a 7:0 unanimous decision of the Supreme Court presided by Chief Justice Apaloo.
It is interesting to note that in that same year when Akufo-Addo defeated Tsatsu Tsikata in court, the two also worked together to obtain a verdict in a key matter of public interest.
The date is September 23, 1980. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo leads a team of fine young lawyers to listen to a decision regarded then as a key matter of public interest. In constitutional law terms, it’s considered an important decision. Mr Akufo-Addo is 36 years old and he’s joined by his good friend Dr Prempeh (sounds familiar? The Prempeh in the name “Akufo-Addo Prempeh and co”), 30-year-old Tsatsu Tsikata, and other lawyers.
The ruling of that case as delivered by Justice Apaloo (JSC) is presented below………..
NANA YIADOM I
NANA AMANIAMPONG AND OTHERS
(1980) JELR 67981 (SC) Supreme Court · 9 Mar 1980 · Ghana
APALOO C.J,SOWAH JSC,ARCHER JSC,ANIN JSC,CHARLES JSC,CRABBE ADADE JSC,TAYLOR J.S.C.
APALOO C.J.: Apaloo C.J. delivered the ruling of the court. The plaintiff alleges that she is the queenmother of Effiduasi, Ashanti. It is in that right that she brought this action. Her present status has been challenged in the pleadings. She accordingly sought and obtained leave to amend her capacity as “a citizen of Ghana hailing from Ashanti Mampong Traditional Area”. In the view that we take of this case, it is not necessary to pronounce on her right to bring this suit.
The first defendant is the paramount chief of Mampong, Ashanti. This is a traditional office of great importance and the holder of such office is held in high esteem by his subjects and strangers alike. But he cannot come by this office unless he has been “nominated, elected and installed in accordance with customary law and usage.” Such pre-eminence does the institution of chieftaincy enjoy in our traditional set-up, that it is expressly guaranteed by the Constitution, 1979, art. 177. It is also copiously regulated by legislation. The current statute on chieftaincy, is the Chieftaincy Act, 1971 (Act 370).
The first defendant was also a director of the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board. While holding that office, he allegedly engaged in certain financial transactions which attracted adverse comment from a committee, i.e. the Archer Committee of Inquiry into the affairs of the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board (the Archer Committee). The first defendant seems to have been aggrieved by the findings of that committee and sought to have them vacated by the special tribunal. Not only was he unsuccessful, but that tribunal proceeded to confirm the adverse findings against him and said “the petitioner (meaning the first defendant) should be disqualified from holding any public office in the country€”
In all probability, it is this holding that provided the motivation for this suit in which the plaintiff seeks to invoke the original jurisdiction of this court and invites us to declare that, “the first defendant has disqualified himself from continuing in office as paramount or any other kind of chief.” She also sought other consequential reliefs. It is not necessary to reproduce the consequential reliefs sought by the plaintiff in this ruling but it is sufficient to observe that they can only properly be granted if the first defendant has ceased to be a paramount chief and yet was continuing to hold himself out as such.
It seems plain to us that notwithstanding the way in which the plaint is couched, it is in substance a claim to have it declared that the first defendant has ceased to be a chief by operation of law. A chief becomes one because he is placed on a stool, that is, enstooled. When he is removed from it, he is said to be destooled. These are the expressions which both usage and legislation have hallowed: see section 51 of the Chieftaincy Act, 1971 (Act 370). The fact that both the plaint and the plaintiff’s counsel shrank from using these expressions does not lead us to believe that these proceedings are in substance and truth other than destoolment proceedings.
If that be right, has the original jurisdiction of this court been properly invoked? That we have a final appellate jurisdiction over chieftaincy disputes is expressly spelt out in the Constitution, 1979, art. 179 (1). Our power to enter upon this inquiry as a tribunal of first instance has been disputed, and we were invited to decline to exercise original jurisdiction. In our judgment, this is an invitation that we ought to accept.
The scheme and policy of the Constitution insofar as it affects the institution of chieftaincy, is clear: That document while expressly guaranteeing that institution and leaving its traditional institutions inviolate, at the same time seeks to consign to traditional authorities matters which by reason of their background and expertise, they, more than the ordinary courts, are better fitted to handle. “Causes and matters relating to chieftaincy” is one such matter and article 177 (3) (a) of the Constitution, 1979, validates any law which entrusts them with the task of determining “in accordance with the appropriate customary law and usage” any question relating to “the validity of the nomination, election, installation or deposition of a person as a chief.
The traditional authorities which the article envisages and indeed expressly enumerates are: (1) a traditional council, (2) a regional house of chiefs, or (3) the National House of Chiefs or a chieftaincy tribunal. Broadly speaking, the Constitution, 1969, adopted a similar approach towards chieftaincy. It left the details to be settled by ordinary legislation. The Chieftaincy Act, 1971 (Act 370), settled these details. Its long title makes it clear, namely:
“An Act to amend the statute law on chieftaincy in order to bring it into conformity with the provisions of the Constitution and to make other provisions relating to chieftaincy.”
Its provisions are, in the main, consistent with the present constitutional provisions on chieftaincy. Both article 180 (2) of the constitution, 1979, and section 23 (1) of the Chieftaincy Act, 1971, specifically conferred on a regional house of chiefs, “original jurisdiction in all matters relating to a paramount stool or the occupant of a paramount stool …”
It is common ground that the first defendant is the occupant of a paramount stool. And the present dispute is whether by reason of the adverse findings made against him by the Archer Committee of
Inquiry, he has brought such opprobrium on the stool as to unfit him for continued occupancy of that stool. This is clearly a dispute affecting chieftaincy which ought to be determined according to customary law and usage. The tribunal which the Constitution, 1979, designates to resolve this dispute as of first instance is a regional house of chiefs. As this dispute arose in Ashanti, it is the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs.
Unless we have concurrent original jurisdiction with that tribunal, our course is clear: We have to deny the plaintiff our aid and decline jurisdiction. It is plain that while the Constitution, 1979, confers appellate jurisdiction on us on disputes such as the present, it grants us no original jurisdiction. It follows that we must accede to the contention of the first defendant and decline jurisdiction.
The plaintiff, however, pleaded her case in such a manner as to make it appear that the interpretation and enforcement jurisdiction of this court is seriously sought. Article 118 (1) (a) of the Constitution, 1979, which confers the jurisdiction apparently invoked provides:
“118. (1) The Supreme Court shall … have original jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other Courts, (a) in all matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of any provision of this Constitution.”
The plaintiff ex facie, shows herself as invoking that jurisdiction because by paragraph 14 of her amended case she sought:
“(a) An interpretation of section 7 of the transitional provisions and articles 181, 177 and 161 of the Constitution in relation to the first defendant’s pretended right to continue as a chief under the Constitution. (b) The enforcement of the above-named provisions by means of
(i) A declaration that the first defendant disqualified himself from continuing in office as paramount chief or any other chief.”
She sought further consequential reliefs which are immaterial for present purposes.
In a suit where the main and indeed the only issue is whether the first defendant has been guilty of conduct which attracts the customary sanction of deposition, it is difficult to see what object is served in construing any of the articles listed. Speaking broadly, the only object of article 177 is to guarantee, in a national context, the institution of chieftaincy. Article 181 provides a statutory definition of a chief as envisaged by the Constitution. The plaintiff herself concedes that status to the first defendant-at all events at some point of time. If he ceases to hold that office in accordance with customary law, this will not depend on an interpretation of article 181 of the Constitution.
Article 161 and section 7 (1) of the transitional provisions seek to continue in office after the promulgation of the Constitution, 1979, all holders of public and other offices on the eve of the coming into force of the Constitution. It is not suggested that either provision is ambiguous or give rise to any problem of interpretation. It is difficult to see how either of these provisions shed any light on the question in controversy in this case, namely, whether or not the first defendant is still in lawful occupation of the paramount stool of Mampong, Ashanti.
If the plaintiff’s case for interpretation is tenuous, her plea for enforcement is even more so. To enforce a provision of the Constitution, is to compel its observance. The plaintiff was not able to point to any provision of the Constitution which the first defendant has breached, or threatens to breach. What she apparently conceives as enforcement of the Constitution is the seeking of a declaratory relief which is permissible under section 1 of the Elections and Public Offices Disqualification Decree, 1978 (S.M.C.D. 206). It is that law which imposes the disqualification on which the plaintiff’s case for interpretation and enforcement is grounded.
The plain truth of the matter is that the original jurisdiction of this court has been wrongly invoked. We will accordingly accede to the challenge to our jurisdiction. Perhaps we should point out at least for the benefit of the profession, that where the issue sought to be decided is clear and is not resolvable by interpretation, we will firmly resist any invitation to pronounce on the meaning of constitutional provisions. It would, we think, be a waste of mental effort and a thoroughly pointless exercise.
As we have already publicly acknowledged, this matter was extremely well argued by counsel on both sides, and we are greatly indebted to them. But in view of what we have said in the foregoing paragraphs of this ruling, this action ought to be and is hereby struck out. The plaintiff will pay the costs of the first defendant only fixed at ¢1,000.
Source: SCGLR 3
Flashback: If A Sheep Contested Mahama, I Would Have Voted For That Sheep – Manasseh
Award winning investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni prior to the 2016 polls had on several occasions expressed his discontentment with the John Dramani Mahama led NDC administration.
He severally in written articles expressed his desire to see the ‘corrupt ridden’ Mahama administration out of office and even in 2019 expressed no regrets over voting against him in 2016.
Manasseh, after an aide to the former president, Joyce Bawa Mogtari said Ghanaians have regretted voting out Mahama in the 2016 elections, quickly noted that he hadn’t regretted in anyway, albeit, not pleased with the President Akufo-Addo government.
Manasseh further noted that had John Mahama contested with a sheep as the only alternative during the 2016 polls, he would have voted for that sheep.
“If the only alternative to John Mahama in the 2016 election was a sheep, I would have voted for that sheep,” he wrote.
Flashback 2017: How Islamic Cleric Predicted That Donald Trump And Akufo-Addo Will Be One Term Presidents
An Islamic cleric and numerologist, Mallam Sham Una Ustaz Jibril prophesied in 2017 that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his US counterpart, Donald Trump will be one-term presidents.
In a Ghanaweb publication in 2017, Mallam Sham Una also said that Akufo-Addo and Donald Trump securing second terms as presidents depended on the fortunes of Nigerian president, Muhamadu Buhari because the three have the same star and also share the same spiritual destiny in the spiritual world.
He also predicted amongst other things, an abrupt end to Buhari’s first term in office through resignation, coup d’etat, or loss of the 2019 election.
His prediction about the Nigerian President did not come to pass though as President Muhamadu Buhari retained his seat in the 2019 Nigerian Elections.
However, his prediction about US President Donald Trump appears to have come to pass, barring any extreme judicial review.
It remains to be seen what will happen with President Akufo-Addo as Ghana heads to the polls on December 7th.
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