Gbese Mantse and Adonten of Ga State, Nii Okaidja III, has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to put in place measures to ensure that laws governing the chieftaincy institution work to prevent people from fighting over thrones which do not belong to them.
Addressing journalists in Accra on Monday, May 1, 2017, the Gbese Mantse stated that Ghana has a robust constitution which guarantees the institution of chieftaincy together with its traditional councils.
Nii Okaidja III, a former Presiding Judge, recounted that when the Ga Traditional Council was invaded in June 2011 by some thugs, no one was arrested because they were supporters of the then government.
“We have the new Chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759), passed by Parliament which outlines procedures and guidelines for kingmakers on the installation, enskinment, destoolment and de-skinment of chiefs.
“We also have the Chieftaincy Act which, if its provisions were followed accordingly, there will never be two chiefs here, there and everywhere,” he advised.
Nii Okaidja III reiterated that he was installed in October 2006, and because he hails from a Royal House of Gbese his enstoolment was peaceful.
Similarly, in April 2007, Mr. Thomas Okine, who does not hail from any Royal House was also enstooled under the stoolname, Nii Ayi Bonte II, while he (Nii Okaidja III) was in office.
That practice, according to Nii Okaidja III, was a complete infringement on the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759), and thus called on the President to ensure the effective implementation of the Act in order to forestall peace and tranquility in the Ga State.
He noted that Nii Ayi Bonte II should have used the law to destool him (Nii Okaidja III).
A restraining order of the court, Nii Okaidja III pointed out, was placed on Nii Ayi Bonte II not to hold himself as Gbese Mantse.
But, according to Nii Okaidja III, the court order has continuously been ignored by Nii Ayi Bonte II with impunity.
“Nii Ayi Bonte II even enstooled Adama Latse as another Ga Mantse while he was under the court restraining order at the time when the real Ga Mantse, King Tackie Tawiah III, was in office,” he added.
Nii Okaidja III also cited an instance where Nii Adote Otinto kidnapped the substantive Sempe Mantse, Nii Adotey Obuo, and made himself (Nii Adote Otinto) the new Sempe Chief.
He mentioned that Kinka Dowuona became Osu Mantse when the old Osu Mantse, Nii Nortey Owuo, was still in office.
“There were serious challenges to Nungua and Tema Stools. On close examination, all the ‘second chiefs’ were either supported or sponsored by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government,” he revealed.
He asked: “Why is Thomas Okine’s name still in the National Register after the Supreme Court Judgment?”
He recalled that the Supreme Court nullified the very judgment at Dodowa on February 17, 2003 which Thomas Okine relied upon to become Gbese Mantse.
Nii Okaidja III stressed that the Supreme Court judgment has not and cannot be overturned, adding that “the time has come for the chieftaincy laws to work under President Akufo-Addo-led NPP administration.