Absentee chiefs banned at Krobo
The Konor of the Manya Krobo traditional area, Nene Sackitey II, has banned his division and sub-chiefs who failed to sit with him in state to receive homage as part of activities to mark this year’s annual Ngmayem festival of the chiefs and people of Manya Krobo.
Nene Sackitey made this known in his address at the Oklemekuku Park, last Friday, when people from all walks of life gathered for his message. Conspicuously absent at the durbar was the acting President of the Manya Krobo Traditional Council (MKTC) and divisional chief of Piengua, Nene Angmortey Zogli II, and seven out of his nine sub-chiefs.
Information gathered by the Ghanaian Chronicle indicated that for sometime there seemed to be bad blood flowing between Nene Sackitey II and Nene Angmortey Zogli II as a result of an injunction that was slapped on the Konor and a few others, including the acting president, over the status of Nene Sackitey II.
On 3 August this year, a motion of order of interim injunction was filed at the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Region House of Chiefs by Seth Opata Azu, Daniel Akunnor Azu, Enoch Riley Opata Azu and Christian Tei Azu, restraining Nene Sackitey II (Seth Larnor Nyarkoh) from performing the roles of a paramount chief, among others.
The rest are Charles Mate Korle, Nene Angmortey Zogli II, Many Traditional Council, Odumase Council and Nartey Atuamoah (Dzasetse).
Chronicle is armed with the said letter, which states that the applicants are seeking leave of the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs for an order of interim injunction to restrain respondents, especially, Seth Larnor Nyarkoh, from holding himself as Konor or Nene Sackitey II of Manya Krobo.
The Judicial Committee was also to restrain Larnor Nyarkoh from using the office that he has not been registered to occupy under the law and from going about soliciting funds in the name of the Office of Konor of Manya Krobo.
He is also not to sit in a palanquin and attend official functions at which he portrays himself as the paramount chief pending the final hearing and determination of this suit.
Reports were that following this suit, the registrar of the MKTC in a letter dated 16 October 2002 in response to an earlier one from Manya Krobo District Assembly to attend a District Secretary Council (DISEC) meeting of the pending festival suggested that the grand durbar to be held suspended, however, divisional chiefs could celebrate the festival at their respective places.
Then on 21 October this year, Nene Angmortey Zogli II sent a letter to the Konor and stated that, “Nene, with due respect, I regret to explain and advise that it would be an offence for me under section 48 (I), 13 (I), 14 and 16 (2) of the Chieftaincy Act 370/71 to continue to attend unofficial Standing and Traditional Council meetings. I hope Nene will bear with me until we are put on the right path.”
Chronicle was told that the Nene Angmortey Zogli II, who was a jurist with 30 years experience and the most senior chief in the traditional area, reportedly conferred with the paramountcy on the suit but his suggestions were allegedly brushed aside.
Later in an interview, he told Chronicle that Ngmayem is an ethnic annual festival celebrated by the chiefs and people of Manya Krobo Traditional area with durbars and other festivities. According to him, chieftaincy in Ghana is a statutory institution established by an Act of Parliament, Chieftaincy Act 370/71, and among the renowned paramount chiefs who drafted it, was the late Nene Azu Mate Kole, of Manya Krobo.
Nene Angmortey Zogli II, who looked relaxed in his palace, told the Chronicle that there is a pending chieftaincy dispute about the Manya Krobo paramountcy and sensing danger, a reconciliation committee was appointed to withdraw the case and have it settled at home.
Unfortunately, just about the time the committee was about to complete its job, a motion was filed at the court praying it for the earlier mentioned reliefs. On 21 October this year, he summoned an emergency standing committee meeting of the traditional council to discuss the implications of the suit on the Ngmayem festival, however, no concrete or firm decision had been taken on the issue due to certain frustrations.
According to him, his concern was whether the motion for interim injunction served on the chiefs of the traditional council is granted or not, should the chiefs sit in state with the Konor to receive homage would it be legally justified in terms of Section 48 (I) of the Chieftaincy Act 370/71.