11.01.2024 Feature Article

Matters Arising from the Offinso Chieftaincy Affairs

Matters Arising from the Offinso Chieftaincy Affairs
11.01.2024 LISTEN

On 18 December 2023, the Asantehene single-handedly nominated Nana Amoako Poku as the next Offinsohene to succeed Nana Wiafe Akenten III, who died in 2022. The events leading to Amoako Poku’s nomination and Asantehene’s own pronouncements indicate Asantehene did not act in good faith and failed to follow the due historically laid down Asante customary rites and practices regarding nomination of chiefs. Accordingly, Asantehene’s nomination and installation of Amoako Poku as the Chief of Offinso is an illegitimate imposition and contravenes Asante customary and traditional rites.

In 2022, after the burial of Nana Wiafe Akenten III, Offinsohemaa Nana Serwaa Nyaako in consulting the Offinso Kingmakers followed the laid down customary procedures and exercised her prerogative powers as the Queen mother to nominate the right and qualified person to succeed Nana Wiafe Akenten III. She invited all interested individuals from both the Ahyirem and Akonkodease gates to submit their names for consideration.

Eighteen persons from Ahyirem and Akonkodease royal lines, including Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong submitted themselves for consideration. After carefully reviewing all the eighteen applicants, Nanahemaa shortlisted three candidates (two from Akonkodease and Dr Sarpong from Ahyirem) for further scrutiny and final nomination.

Nanahemaa finally settled on Dr Sarpong and his nomination was well received by the whole Offinsoman including the Kingmakers. Nanahemaa as per custom, presented Dr Sarpong to Gyaasehene, who did not find any fault against Dr Sarpong after completing his own due diligence and background checks.

On 5 May 2023, Gyaasehene presented Dr Sarpong to the Offinso Kingmakers for further due diligence and background check, including historical lineage of Dr Sarpong to Offinso Ahyirem Royal line.

Nananom led by the Acting President of Offinso Traditional Council Nana Kwaku I, unanimously approved Dr Sarpong as the right and legitimate choice to become the next Chief. After the overwhelming approval, Nananom symbolically sat Dr Sarpong on the big stool only reserved for Offinsohene. Dr Sarpong then thanked Nananom and performed all the necessary customary rights for approving his nomination. Nananom accepted his “drink” and “thanksgiving.” This is the final seal to confirm Dr Sarpong as Offinsohene in waiting. The only last bit was for Nananom to introduce Dr Sarpong to Offinsoman and outdoor him as their paramount chief.

Before the outdooring ceremony, the Akonkodease gate and some individuals from the Ahyirem lineage petitioned Asantehene to nullify the nomination of Dr Sarpong on the basis that he is from Beposo and not a royal from Offinso and his mother was not buried at Offinso.

Despite the preposterous and simplistic nature of their arguments, Asantehene set a five-member Committee to ascertain whether Dr Sarpong has Offinso Ahyirem Royal ancestry and charged the committee to be vigorous and impartial in their work. The Committee voted in his favour (3 against 2). Dr Sarpong was required to pay GHS 20,000 to cover the cost of the Committee’s work.

Furthermore, as it is practised at Manhyia, Asantehene requested the Asanteman Council to provide input into the issue. 80.7% of 26 Chiefs and Linguists who were at the Asanteman Council meeting voted in favour of Dr Sarpong (i.e., 21 against 5). The Asantehene own narration has confirmed that D K Sarpong is part of the Ahyirem Royal Lineage. In one of his narratives, well captured in YouTube and other online media, Asantehene explained that an Ahyirem family moved from Offinso to Beposo

While the issue should have ended upon the above confirmation, Asantehene unexpectedly, introduced another complexity that there is a curse on the Ahyirem people so Dr Sarpong cannot become a chief. Asantehene suggested three alternative solutions for the Queen Mother and her elders to follow:

  1. He would be able to reverse the curse to pave the way for Dr Sarpong enthronement.
  2. The Queen Mother could choose from the Akonkodiase.
  3. The Queen Mother should choose a person from Kwakwa-Boa family, whom Asantehene claimed that they also have Ahyirem ancestry but not affected by the curse.

The Queen Mother and his elders opted for the first option and followed all the directives and due processes that Asantehene gave to them to reverse the curse. Yet, the Asantehene going against his own words, maintained that the curse had not been removed and Dr Sarpong could not be installed as Offinso Paramount Chief. Clearly, Asantehene had a fiendish agenda from the onset to impose Nana Amoako as the chief of Offinso.

Asantehene’s unjust treatment of Offinsohemaa

To implement his fiendish agenda, Asantehene turned Manhyia into a Kangaroo court, became so authoritarian that he did not allow Offinsohemaa and others the opportunity to explain their side of the story. Asantehene tried to bend the hand of the Offinsohemaa to accept his preferred person (Nana Amoako) who based on all reliable facts does not have any Offinso Royal lineage and importantly, was not one of the eighteen people who requested the Queen Mother to be considered for nomination.

It is astonishing that when the Offinsohema refused to agree with the Asantehene, Asantehene attacked and disgraced her in public, including declaring publicly that a medical certificate she obtained from a competent medical officer to abstain from one of the hearings was fake. This was absurd and childish, given Asantehene himself on several occasions spent many months in South Africa seeking medical care. Yet, the Asantehene in an irresponsible display of power and misogyny against the Queen Mother, had an unrealistic problem with the sickness of Offinsohemaa (despite the Ohemaa is well over 70 years and older than Asantehene).

Nomination of Nana Amoako
In November 2023, in a full glare of cameras and well publicised on the YouTube, Asantehene said the remaining Ahyirem contestants who presented themselves to the Ohemaa initially should bring their family trees for review for one of them to be chosen. When giving that direction, Asantehene through his linguist, made it clear that only those who went to the Ohemaa initially would be considered and disqualified Nana Amoako.

Notwithstanding the above, on 18 December 2023, Asantehene in a questionable manner, rejected all the other Ahyirem royals under the pretence that they have all been cursed and do not qualify to be Offinsohene. Asantehene then arrogated powers to nominate a chief to himself and handpicked Nana Amoako as the paramount chief elect.

In his usual inconsistencies, contradictions and lies, Asantehene stated then that only a sitting Offinsohene can request for the curse to be removed, a clear and shameful departure from his earlier instruction to the Offinsohemaa and the Ahyirem Abusua Panin that they could request him to reverse the curse.

The question for Asantehene is, if the descendants of Kwakwa Boa were part of Ahyirem Royalty and were not affected by the so called curse, why did they not become the Chiefs when Gyan Frimpong pronounced his curse, but rather the sitting on the stool was transferred to the Akonkodease family, who had occupied it over 200 years, despite the Akonkodease family actually came to Offinso well after the Ahyirem royals had founded Offinso. So, the Kwakwa Boa family are not legitimate members of the Ahyirem people. Thus, the Asantehene usurpation of the powers of Offinso Queen Mother, to reward Nana Amoako, his servant and “Mowerehene” (chiropodist/nails cutter) as Offinsohene is shameful!

Asantehene’s misuse of power and contradictions

Asantehene did not follow the relevant customary law and usage when he nominated the Nana Amoako Poku.

There is ample evidence from his own contradictory statements that he had planned to choose Nana Amoako Poku, his chiropodist, as the Chief.

In another development, Asantehene read from a paper written for him (and falsely claimed his ancestors revealed to him) as a basis to support his decision regarding the family tree of Offinso Ahyirem people. In his narrow-minded, he believes he knows Offinso history better than the Offinsohemaa and her people.

Constitutional and Customary requirements regarding nomination of Chiefs

Under the Akan (including Asante) customs, the Queen Mothers have the sole prerogative to nominate candidates as chiefs in consultation with the eligible elders/kingmakers (Asantehene is not part of nominating any Asante chief including Offinso). This position is supported by decisions of the Supreme Court of Ghana and available literature on the subject. As explained below, the Supreme Court and other authorities on the subject state that even when a queen mother’s nomination is rejected by the elders, the queen mother has the right to make additional two nominations before the kingmakers can take on the responsibility of selecting the chief themselves. Even so, it still requires the approval of the queen mother.

There is no evidence that the elders/Kingmakers ever rejected Dr Sarpong’s nomination, instead they all accepted him. Therefore, Asantehene did not have any power or right to set him aside. Accordingly, the power to nominate Offinso Chief, is by traditional and customary rites, the sole prerogative of the Offinsohemaa as discussed below.

Ghana Constitution
Article 277 of the Ghana Constitution stipulates that a ‘Chief means a person, who, hailing from the appropriate family and lineage, has been validly nominated, elected or selected and enstooled, enskinned or installed as a chief or queenmother in accordance with the relevant customary law and usage.’

In other words, a person is only legally recognised as chief, if his nomination is based on due process.

In the Supreme Court decision on chieftaincy appeal case of Akwamu area (Chieftaincy Appeal No. J2/02/2021, dated 4 May 2022), the Supreme stated in paragraph 18 that ‘If for any reason the candidate is rejected, the Queenmother and her elders have two chances to make fresh nominations.’

Literature review - Legal and anthropological authorities

Owusu-Mensah, W. Asante and W.K. Osew of Department of Political Science, University of Ghana

They published in the Journal of Pan African Studies that:

The Akan succession and inheritance system entrusts the exclusive and prerogative right to nominate the prospective chief with the Queen Mother. Consequently, any qualified candidate who demonstrates an interest to be a chief must first be endorsed by the Queen Mother. The Queen Mother nominates the rightful unblemished royal heir, who has a strong moral aptitude in the community, and in the larger society. The right to nominate a prospective chief for approval by a college of kingmakers must be exercised by the Queen Mother three times.

Vincent Assanful
Vincent Assanful in his article “He Who Gives Powers Takes Away Power: The Role of the Ohemaa in Akan Chieftaincy’ stipulates that:

In the processes of making an Akan chief, the Ohemaa has the sole prerogative to nominate a royal to be enstooled as a chief and this power is still intact and cannot be taken away from her.

She is clothed with that power to nominate because she is believed to have a good knowledge of the royals eligible to sit on the stool.

She alone is customarily qualified to nominate a royal to occupy a vacant stool. Any choice would be customarily void if it did not have the blessing of the Ohemaa.

The above view was confirmed in a Supreme Court ruling on the Wenchi chieftaincy succession dispute. In that ruling, the Supreme Court averred that it was only the Ohemaa who had the capacity to make nominations and any other person who makes such nominations without the consent of the Ohemaa renders such nomination void.

Beverly J. Stoeltje, Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University

Professor Stoeltje spent twenty years of his ethnographic research on chieftaincy affairs in Asante. He has published that:

Among the Akan, when a chief’s stool becomes vacant, it is the queen mother who nominates an individual to assume the position of chief because she knows who the qualified individuals are.

In today’s Ashanti region, however, there is consensus that the queen mother is the nominator of the chief, a powerful position, consistent with her role as queen mother. W.

If the candidate is not acceptable to the kingmakers or the traditional council, she then has two more opportunities to nominate a candidate who will be acceptable.

Ms Francisca S. Boateng (Lawyer)

In November 2023, Ms Francisca Boateng, a renowned lawyer with over 25 years of experience and a former Vice-President of the Greater Accra Branch of Ghana Bar Association, wrote in her Blog (Blog - fsboateng) and on Ghanaweb (When did Asante's customary law on the enstoolment of chiefs change? ( that by Asante customary law and usage (within the context of Ghana's customary, statutory, and constitutional law):

The queen mother is responsible for nominating a candidate to be elected and installed as a chief. It is only when the queen mother's three nominations are rejected by the kingmakers that she will call upon the kingmakers to nominate a suitable royal to be installed as a chief.

The Asantehene does not play any role in the nomination, election, and installation of a paramount chief. A newly installed paramount chief is introduced to the Asantehene only as a formality.

It is utterly perplexing that the Asantehene, could make such a profound statement - that he is the kingmaker of every stool in Asanteman. The statement has no basis in both statutory and customary law.

The Asantehene's rejection of Offinsohemaa's nomination of Dr. K. K. Sarpong as potential Offinsohene is not grounded in law and Asantehene's instructions to Offinso kingmakers to, on their own without the queen's mother's involvement, nominate and elect a candidate to be installed as Offinsohene has no legal basis.

From the foregoing discussion, it is apparent that Asantehene does not have the power to nominate a person either directly or indirectly as a chief in Offinso. His action is against the Akan customs. He has tainted his image just as he has done in the Sampa and other cases. The choice of a person, who is responsible for cutting his nails is extremely concerning due to the perceived conflict of interest and the fact that Nana Amoako is not an Offinso Royal.

Asantehene has achieved his nefarious agenda because of the Offinso Nifahene, Kwame Boampong and other chiefs, who have aided and abetted him. I leave the Asantehene and these chiefs with this NIV Bible verse. Isaiah 10:1 ‘Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees.’ They will one day receive their retributions from the Almighty Lord, who alone is Lord, for their nefarious actions.


  1. Article 277 of Ghana Constitution.
  2. Supreme Court decision on chieftaincy appeal of Akwamu area (Chieftaincy Appeal No. J2/02/2021, dated 4 May 2022 source.pdf (; Accessed 21 December 2023
  3. Owusu-Mensah, W. Asante and W. K. Osew, Queen Mothers: The Unseen Hands in Chieftaincy Conflicts Among the Akan in Ghana: Myth or Reality? The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.8, no.6, September 2015: (8.6-2-Owusu.pdf ( Accessed on: 21 December 2023
  4. Vincent Assanful, He who Gives Power Takes Away Power: The Role of the Ohemaa in Akan Chieftaincy; Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology Volume 9 (1) 2019; ajol-file-journals_653_articles_227819_submission_proof_227819-7696-554524-1-10-20220707 (3).pdf: Accessed on: 21 December 2023
  5. Beverly J. Stoeltje. 25 Jun 2019, Creating chiefs and queen mothers in Ghana from: The Routledge History of Monarchy Routledge Accessed on: 21 Dec 2023
  6. Beverly J. Stoeltje, Asante Queen Mothers: A Study in Female Authority: Accessed on 21 Dec 2023:
  7. Francisca S. Boateng, When did Asante's customary law on the enstoolment of chiefs change? (Blog - fsboateng) and Ghanaweb (When did Asante's customary law on the enstoolment of chiefs change? ( Accessed on 21 Dec 2023