By Edmund Mingle, Dodowa
Monday, 21 July 2008
The Judicial Committee of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs on Friday directed the Ga Mantse, Nii Tackie Tawiah III, to open his defence in a case in which his nomination and installation is being challenged
This was after the committee's panel, chaired by Nii Tetteh Otu II, president of the House, turned down a “submission of no case” filed by the Ga Mantse.
Sitting was adjourned to Friday, July 25, for him to open his defence.
Nii Owula Kpakpa Blofonyo, Ga State Akwashong Mantse (supreme warrior), is challenging the election, nomination and installatiion of Dr. Jo Blankson as Ga Mantse. "From the submission made by the petitioner, the respondent has a case to answer," Samuel Klayson, counsel for the Judicial Committee directed as the panel rejected the submission of no case filed by the Ga Manste on November 23, 2007.
The ruling against the submission means that Nii Tackie Tawiah would have to appear in person at the committee’s sitting to open his defence.
The Ga Mantse has been represented by others at the hearing in this and three other cases challenging his claim to the Ga Paramount Stool since hearing started more than a year ago. In the motion for no case, his counsel, Willie Amarfio, had challenged the capacity of Nii Blofonyo in instituting the case against his client, arguing that Nii Blofonyo is neither the Ga State Akwashong Mantse nor a kingmaker.
But Adu Gyamfi Boadu, counsel for Nii Blofonyo, had argued that Nii Blofonyo is both the Asere Akwashongtse and Ga State Akwashong Mantse, who has a vital role in the nomination and installation of Ga Mantse.
He said his non-involvement in the installation of Dr. Blankson, is contrary to Ga custom, and therefore makes the installation illegal.
Citing legal authorities such as ‘Nsiah versus Ameyaw II’ at the Court of Appeal (1994), and ‘Brobbey and others versus Kwaku and another’ at the Supreme Court (1995), counsel further argued that even if Nii Blofonyo was not a kingmaker, he was an "interested party" whose petition should be upheld.
Nii Akropong III, head of Teiko Tsuru We and Nuumo Tete, Nai Wulomo (Ga Chief Priest) are attached to the suit for their roles in the nomination and installation of Dr. Blankson.
The panel is yet to rule on a motion for interlocutory injunction which was filed in October last year by Nii Yaya Arday, head of Abola Piam We, one of the four ruling houses in Ga Mashie, seeking the committee’s order to restrain the Ga Traditional Council from allowing Dr Blankson to act as Ga Mantse until the final determination of another case in which Nii Arday is challenging the election, nomination and installation of Dr. Blankson as Ga Mantse.
The committee was expected to give its ruling last week but it did not sit.
Bright Akwetey, counsel for Nii Ardey, had argued that Dr Blankson's continuous acting as Ga Mantse is detrimental to the outcome of the case, adding that because the substantive suit is challenging the very basis for his kingship, it is important that he is restrained.
Meanwhile, a letter from the Registrar of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs addressed to David Tackie Komme, Principal Elder of Ga Dzase, (the kingmaking body), indicates that the name of King Tackie Tawiah III is not in the House's records as Ga Mantse.
"I wish to state that the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs has not received any CD forms in respect of King Tackie Tawiah III for any necessary action,"said the letter dated July 30, 2007 and signed by Ms Dorothy Adams for the Registrar of the House.
The letter was in response to enquiries by the Dzase of the status of King Tackie Tawiah in the register of chiefs.