GHANA: BATTLE FOR GBESE ROYAL STOOL OVER AS ACCRA HIGH COURT DECLARES THE LATE NII OKAIJA III AS GBESE MANTSE IN THE GA STATE

By: Azitrogah Freeman/ www.africanakua.com, Ghana

An Accra High Court General Jurisdiction on the third floor of the High Court Office Complex Wednesday January 21, 202 threw out the contempt suit filed by Mr. Tommy Okine aka Nii Ayi Bonte II against the Head of the Nii Tetteh Ankamah family, Nii Tetteh Ankamah III, restraining them not to bury the late Nii Okaija III in the chieftaincy title of “legitimately installed but not gazetted chief of Gbese Royal Divisional Stool and Adonten of the Ga State.”

Law Court Complex, Accra.

The contempt suit filed by Nii Ayi Bonte II, the rival Gbese chief of the late Nii Okaija III has prevented the elders of Nii Ankamah family, the second Royal Ruling House of Gbese Mantse Stool and the entire principal kingmakers and accredited elders of Gbese Royal Stool to perform the final burial rites for the late Nii Okaija III which was scheduled for Friday November 9, 2019.

Nii Okaija III died died on Tuesday January 1, 2019 in London after a short illness. The late Nii Okaidja IlI who was a retired UK-based Ghanaian Judge was enstooled on Sunday October 8, 2006, reigned for eleven (11) years and died at the age of 78.

He succeeds the late Gbese Mantse, Nii Agbofu II who died somewhere in 2002, who after a four and a half year interval was burried before Nii Okadija III was legitimately and customarily installed as the substantive Gbese Mantse and Adonten of the Ga State in line with Ga tradions and customs under the Chieftaincy Act.

However, the ruling of the court on Wednesday January 21, 2020 to throw out the suit of Nii Ayi Bonte II has ended a long legal battle between Nii Okaija III and Nii Ayi Bonte II over who is the legitimate Gbese Mantse and Adonten of the Ga State.

The ruling has amidst huge jubilation in the Ga State by the elders, kingmakers, families, well-wishers, sympathizers, friends of the late Gbese Mantse.

The decision has also given the legal backing to the elders to proceed to officially announce the final burial date of the late Nii Okaija III.

Speaking in an interview with journalists after the court ruling, the joyful elders and kingmakers of Nii Tetteh Ankamah family in Accra congratulated the court for exercising justice to this case which would bring sanity, peace and development to the Gbese enclaves of the Ga State.

They explained that “The late Nii Okaija III who is yet to be buried was enstooled the Gbese Mantse before Nii Ayi Bonte, allegedly based upon a judgment of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs which had been declared null and void by the Supreme Court, also had himself enstooled.

Nii Okaija III has been Gbese Mantse and member of the Ga Traditional Council all this while.”

It would be recalled that the Supreme Court somewhere in February 2016  restored Nii Okaija’s Chieftaincy title.

The other members of the panel at the Supreme Court who took the unanimous decision to restore the titles of Nii Okaija III included Justice N. S. Gbadegbe; Justice Akoto-Bamfo (Mrs); Justice Apau and Justice Puama.

Sitting on Tuesday February 9, 2016, the five-member panel Presided over by Justice Akuffo quashed the judgment given by Justice Quist of the famous Anas Aremeyaw Anas cantata (Judge Quist was among the few judges who were recently caught receiving bribes by Anas Aremeya Anas exposé).

Readers will remember that Justice Quist, who is currently on sick leave, restrained Nii Okaidja from using the titles of the Adonten of the Ga State and “the third” (III).

It was a strange move since that motion was not before the court at all. But of cause the only reason conceived by Lawyer Adumoa Bossman on behalf of his client Tommy Okine, parading himself as Nii Ayi Bonte, was to prevent Nii Okaija III from celebrating the Ga Homowo Festival as Gbese Mantse; indeed, this had been the tactics they have engaged for the past years.

But the five judges grilled Adumoa Bossman on procedures and lack of relevance in the motion he presented before the court, restraining Nii Okaija III from using his Chieftaincy titles.

The scene at the courtroom was rather thrown into state of shock and embarrassment as astute lawyer Adumoa Bossman was grilled by all the five eminent judges who took the unanimous decision to restore the chieftaincy titles of Nii Okaija III.

Present at the court were Thomas Okaine a.k.a. Nii Ayi Bonte together with his kinsmen and the counsel, Adumoa Bossman.

Earlier on in January 28,2016, Nii Okaiija III  dragged the old Lawyer Adumoa Bossman before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council for his “seemingly inability or refusal to abide by the decisions of the courts; whether the highest or the lowest courts or the Chieftaincy Tribunals.”

The Chairman of the five-member Disciplinary Committee, Justice Sophia Akuffo stated that the committee had no power to prevent Lawyer Adumoa Bossman from bring up un-ending matters before the courts.

However, she scorned the lawyer for being responsible for the decline of discipline and respect from the youth to elders.

Accordingly, she told Adumoa Bossman in no uncertain terms; “hani Ga ajɔ” to wit “let there be peace in Accra.”

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