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30.04.2004 Regional News

"I am still the Omanhene of Wassa Fiase" - Odeneho Krukoko.

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Benso (W/R) April 30, GNA - Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko II, one of the two chiefs embroiled in a protracted dispute over the rightful occupant of the Wassa Fiase stool has stated that, the President of the Regional House of Chiefs has no right or authority to declare any person as a chief or not for another traditional area.

"The power to declare any person as a chief or otherwise or clarify the status of a person as a chief is in vested only in the Judicial Committee of the house, properly constituted to deal with the matter". These were contained in a statement he read at a press conference at Benso on Thursday in reaction to a letter in the Daily Graphic of April 16, in which Kasapreko Kwame Basanyin III, President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs declared Osagyefo Kwamena Enimil VI as the Omanhene of Wassa Fiase.

He said Kasapreko Basanyin should have acted as an arbiter instead of taking sides and argued that, his (Odeneho Krukoko II) conviction by a Sekondi High court for contempt, which had been quashed by the Court of Appeal, could not be sufficient grounds for his purported destoolment.

"There is no customary law in which conviction for contempt can be used as destoolment charge", he said, adding that he is still the Omanhene of Wassa Fiase and president of the traditional council, which has its headquarters at Benso.

He assured the people that royalties to the council "is safe" because an embargo had been placed on the accounts until the final determination of the case, and warned that companies and institutions that recognise Osagyefo Enimil as Omanhene would be contravening an Appeal Court's ruling.

Odeneho Krukoko said he was duly nominated, elected and installed Omanhene ten years ago and noted that the "plot and manoeuvres to get rid of me" were hatched out of hatred, greed and selfishness. He called on the public to disregard the contents of the letter as published by the Daily Graphic and treat it "with all the contempt that it deserves".

Some chiefs and elders, and other opinion leaders from other parts of the traditional area attended the press conference.

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