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January 15, 2015 | Feature Article

Latest Kumawu Chieftaincy Wrangling Sends Cold Chill Down The Spine Of Asanteman & Asantehene

Latest Kumawu Chieftaincy Wrangling Sends Cold Chill Down The Spine Of Asanteman & Asantehene

Fellow Ghanaians, please be aware that getting to the close of last year, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II exercised some traditional powers he has absolutely no right to, with regard to ordering the imposition of one Dr Yaw Sarfo on Kumawuman as their new Omanhene. Where he got those powers from, only Satan knows.

Dr Yaw Sarfo, now going by the stool name Barimah Sarfo Tweneboah Koduah is alleged by his own uncle, Kwabena Osei, and most of his own Ankaase family members to be what they call, “obo3 fa dadee fa” – half stone half metal. For explanation as to what that means, please refer to a video posted on YouTube titled, “Asantehene involves in corruption”

Following the arbitrary exercise of powers by Asantehene for the perceived reasons of duping Kumawuman as I have extensively written about in many of my previous publications, Kumawuman and her responsible elders, decided to enthrone a chief of their own choice; a genuine royal after their own heart. Subsequently, they have enstooled one Mr John Kwasi Oduro from the Ananangya royal family, a true descendant from the matrilineal lineage of Barimah Tweneboah Koduah I, the originator of the Kumawu Koduah stool. Mr Oduro now goes by the stool name Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V since his enstoolment on Monday, 12 January 2015.

Having said this, I am going to tell how no Asantehene has ever been vested with powers that enable them to needlessly interfere with Kumawuman issues, let alone, imposing a person of their choice on Kumawuman as their paramount chief (Omanhene). The first ever Asantehene to have had audacity, capriciously of course, to attempt, or to have done so, is the current Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, but he risks having a bloody nose for that.

Will a bit of narration of history not do the trick for me? Readers, be it known to you that Kumawu, prior to becoming Kumawu, was called APEMSO. In the like manner was Kumasi called KWAMANG. There came a time in history, during the era of Nana Osei Tutu I (Kwamanghene) and Nana Tweneboah Koduah I (Apemsohene), that a capital town was needed for the Asante Kingdom formed through the help of the most powerful and most renowned fetish priest Anokye (Okomfo Anokye).

It occurred that either Kwamang or Apemso was to be chosen as the capital town. In so doing, a Kuma tree was planted in each of these two towns. It was agreed that in whichever town the planted tree grew, but did not die, would become the capital town with its chief becoming the head of all the states come together to form the Asante Kingdom. That of Kwamang survived hence changing its name to “Kumase” that is, “kum no ase”. Sadly, that of Apemso, where I now belong, perished hence renaming the town “Kumawu” meaning “Kum no awu”

Therefore, Kumasi and Kumawu were both born on the same day. They both had, and still have, the same powers. Both chiefs were paramount chiefs in their own right and none could exercise authority over the other. Any doubting Thomas could ascertain the truth by viewing the video on YouTube as mentioned above. They would hear Asantehene saying, “If the tree of Kumawu had survived, I would have gone to Kumawu to stay with my brother, Barimah Tweneboah Koduah I”

Kumawu is greater than Asanteman as Kumasi is greater than Asanteman. Before Asanteman, Kumawu (Apemso) existed. Therefore, neither Asantehene (dead or alive), nor any of the Asanteman chiefs with their Divisional sub-chiefs has authority over Kumawu as Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (Kwaku Duah in private life), is erroneously making claim of.

A White work colleague of mine says, “Education adds value to life. It makes one more knowledgeable and, or, wise”. From the recent radio interviews being granted by some people speaking in favour of Kumawuhemaa and Dr Yaw Sarfo, but against the newly installed chief by the discerning Kumawuman public, I can see how one's lack of formal education can be the greatest inhibitor to their very existence, especially when they claim to be intelligent whereas they are not. An uneducated person can be wiser than an educated one, which is a fact. However, he who claims to know something but really does not know fuck all, but fails to know that he does not know, is a fool. These are the people I am going to discuss now.

I listened to one Nana Nantakyie, a supposed Asantehene's Saanaahene (treasurer) granting an interview to Peace FM on the newly installed Kumawuhene, Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V, and the events unfolding in Kumawu. I could clearly hear him make a complete fool of himself in his submissions. He said, “the installation of the new chief (Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V) is illegal because the process the supposed kingmakers followed was illegal. Therefore, he is a “botohene” meaning he is a pocket chief who cannot exercise an iota of influence on anyone or anywhere in Asanteman. How can he be brought to see Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II knowing the supposed elders who enthroned him have been destooled on orders of Asantehene?”

I wonder where this man got his information from. Does he understand how strong the people's power or resolve is? He talks about custom and tradition but forgets the laws regulating such traditions and customs.

Let me ask him the following questions to prove how naive he is. In the olden days, was it not Asante's tradition and custom to sacrifice human beings to bury a dead Asantehene or chief with? Yes, it was, he will surely answer. Do we still practice that tradition? I hope he will say no. Why do we not do it? It is because of a law passed to make it illegal. Did the chiefs not have the authority to excommunicate (banish) their subjects found to have flouted an aspect of the tradition from the community? Yes, they did have power to do exactly that. Do they still have the authority to do same today? No! Why don't they, one may ask. Because laws have been passed to weaken the powers of the kings or chiefs from doing that.

Does Asantehene's Saanaahene now realise how stupid and ignorant he has been by the statements he made on the radio? If at all anyone is to be accused of breaking traditions and customs, it should be Asantehene and his most coward or ignorant Asanteman chiefs. He is the one who knowingly not having power over Kumawu, has allowed a woman, Kumawuhemaa Serwaah Amponsah, to bait him with money, sex and lies, to bring disgrace upon himself. Kumawu people are not easy to walk over, let alone, Rockson Adofo.

When one views the said video on YouTube, one clearly sees Asantehene, Kumawuhemaa and Asanteman Council breaching the principal or relevant laws pertaining to stool disputes and enstoolments.

Look at how Otumfuo Osei Tutu II prejudicially exercises the discretionary powers conferred upon him by tradition and statutory laws. His actions are in total breach of Article 296 of the 1992 Republican Constitution. Further to that, his actions and those of Kumawuhemaa and Dr Yaw Sarfo, the supposed Kumawuhene, are in contravention of Warrington Notes on Stool Disputes (Article 13), Ghana Criminal Code ACT 1960 (Act29) – Sections 239 to 247and traditional laws accepted by Asante Confederacy which became applicable laws since 1938.These are comprehensively explained in Dr K. A. Busia's book titled, "THE POSITION OF CHIEF IN THE MODERN POLITICAL SYSTEM OF ASHANTI”.

Article 296 of the Constitution states: Where in this Constitution or in any other law discretionary power is vested in any person or authority – a) That discretionary power shall be deemed to imply a duty to be fair and candid; b) The exercise of the discretionary power shall not be arbitrary, capricious or biased whether by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike and shall be in accordance with due process of law; and c) Where the person or authority is not a judge or other judicial officer, there shall be published by constitutional instrument or statutory instrument, regulations that are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution or that other law to govern the exercise of the discretionary power.

Before the restoration of the Ashanti Confederacy in 1935 and up until 1949, laws were made and approved for the traditional governance of the Asante Kingdom. These laws were compiled, and passed on to the District Commissioners. They have remained legal since then. They were compiled by J.S. Warrington and are called Warrington Notes.

Article 13 of the Warrington Notes on STOOL DISPUTES states among other things that, "The offering and taking of bribes to influence an election by candidates, elders and young men was declared in 1941 to be illegal. If a candidate does so he loses his right to election on that occasion (only); and if a stool holder does so it is a ground for destoolment. The nomination, installation or election of a person not entitled to the stool is also a ground for destooling the person who does any of these acts".

From Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia's book, "THE POSITION OF CHIEF IN THE MODERN POLITICAL SYSTEM OF ASHANTI" the underlying has been stated on pages 210 to 212.

"1938. Item 5. The offering and accepting bribes in connexion with election and destoolment of Chiefs.

Asantehene: This subject was discussed at the last session of the Council, but at that time the Council had no power to make by-laws, therefore our decision in the matter could not have legal effect. As the Council has now been granted powers to do so, the subject is introduced again so that the necessary by-laws may be made.

Mampong Representative: the practice of offering and accepting bribes in connexion with election and destoolment of Chiefs is as bad as it is detrimental to the welfare of the country. It should, therefore, be prohibited and made a punishable offence. I suggest that by-laws be passed by the Council providing that any Chief found guilty of such offence shall be destooled and any young man found guilty of the same offence shall be imprisoned for six months with hard labour.

Juabenhene: I support the view of the Mampong representative. A trader always wants to gain on his investments; in the same way if a person is compelled to spend all his money and to borrow in order to bribe the Elders of a Stool before he is elected to that Stool, he would naturally try to pay off his debt with Stool money and to have some profit whilst he is on the Stool. Moreover, as he is conscious of the fact that he might be destooled on the least pretence, he thinks more of his personal interest than the welfare of the Stool. Such a state of affairs is deplorable, and therefore its cause which forms the subject of our discussion should be removed. In the olden days affairs were not in such a deplorable state as they are to-day, and destoolments were of very rare occurrence.

Nsutahene: Bribery in connexion with destoolments and estoolments is bad and should be stopped. I therefore support the previous speakers.

Agonahene: I support the views expressed by the previous speakers and would further suggest royals should not be allowed to contest for a Stool. If and when a Stool becomes vacant the Elders should approach the Queen-Mother for a candidate and in consultation with the Gyase and Ankobea Chiefs and the members of the Stool family, she should nominate a candidate and the Elders may accept or reject her nominee without allowing any of the royals to influence them in any way in their decision.

Nkoranzahene: In certain cases if a Stool becomes vacant, wealthy subjects of the Stool try to bribe the Elders concerned in order to gain election. Under these circumstances, the royals too start to give bribes in order to ensure election to the Stool. Whilst, therefore, agreeing with the previous speakers, I should like to suggest further that any subject of a Stool who tries to contest for that Stool should be banished from the Division concerned.

Oyoko Clan: We agree with the previous speakers and would add that certain Chiefs instigate the subjects of another Chief to destool their Chief. By-laws should therefore be passed to the effect that any Chief who is found guilty of such an offence will be destooled.

Asantehene: The matter under discussion is so important that I should like all present to listen attentively. It is a disgrace for any Chief to neglect to train his nephews who will succeed him in future. The practice of offering and accepting bribes in connexion with the enstoolment or destoolment of Chiefs is also very bad and should be stopped. I request the Committee which was appointed yesterday to deal with the question of the payment of annual 'sheep' in respect of cocoa-farms to deal with this subject also.

The committee appointed later submitted its suggestions, which the Confederacy Council adopted. 'After a lengthy discussion the Committee was of the opinion that the practice of people offering and accepting bribes to destool or enstool a Chief has become very common and has been the source of political unrest in this country.' It made the following recommendations:

1. It shall not be lawful for any member of a Royal Family to contest for a Stool whenever a Stool becomes vacant, and he shall not canvass for votes from any Elder of the Stool.

2. Any member of Royal Family who contests, offers, or accepts any bribe in any form in any enstoolment case shall be guilty of an offence and shall be struck off the roll of the Royal Family and shall forfeit his right of succession to the Stool.

3. It shall not be lawful for any Elder or Elders to nominate, elect, or install any candidate on any Stool other than a member of the Royal Family of such Stool.

4. Any Elder or sub-chief who offers or accepts a bribe in an enstoolment case, or nominates, elects, or installs any candidate other than a member of the Royal Family of any such Stool, or breaks away from the Elders' meeting with the intent to prolong or delay the enstoolment of a Chief shall be guilty of an offence and shall on summary conviction thereof be removed from his office and destooled.

5. Any subject of a Stool who offers or accepts a bribe in an enstoolment case or interferes with or canvasses votes for any candidate shall be guilty of an offence, and shall on summary conviction thereof be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months with hard labour".

Please find below excerpts from ACTS OF GHANA: Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29) – THE CRIMINAL CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2003 (ACT 646)

Section 239—Corruption, etc. of and by Public officer, or Juror. (1) Every public officer or juror who commits corruption, or wilful oppression, or extortion, in respect duties of his office, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. (2) (2) whoever corrupts any person in respect of any duties as a public officer or juror shall be guilty misdemeanour.

Section 240—Explanation as to Corruption by Public Officer, etc. A public officer, juror, or voter is guilty of corruption in respect of the duties of his office or vote, if he directly or indirectly agrees or offers to permit his conduct as such officer, juror, or voter to be influenced by the promise, or prospect of any valuable consideration to be received by him, or by any other person, from person whomsoever.

Section 241—Explanation as to Corruption of Public Officer, etc. A person is guilty of corrupting a public officer, juror, or voter in respect of the duties of his office respect of his vote, if he endeavours directly or indirectly to influence the conduct of such public officer, or voter in respect of the duties of his office or in respect of his vote, by the gift, promise, or prospect valuable consideration to be received by such public officer, juror, or voter, or by other person, from person whomsoever.

Section 242—Special Explanation as to Corruption of and by Public Officer, etc. It is immaterial, for the purposes of section 240 or 241, that the person respecting whose conduct endeavour, agreement, or offer therein mentioned is made is not yet at the time of the making of endeavour, agreement, or offer, such a public officer, juror, or voter, if the endeavour, agreement, or offer made in the expectation that he will or may become or act as such officer, juror, or voter.

Section 243—Corrupt Agreement for Lawful Consideration, etc. It is immaterial, for the purposes of section 240, 241 or 242, whether the act to be done by a person consideration or in pursuance of any such gift, promise, prospect, agreement or offer as therein mentioned be in any manner criminal or wrongful otherwise than by reason of the provisions of the said sections.

Section 244—Acceptance of Bribe by Public Officer, etc., After Doing Act. If, after a person has done any act as a public officer, juror, or voter, he secretly accepts, or agrees or secretly to accept for himself or for any other person, any valuable consideration on account of such act, shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have been guilty corruption, within the meaning Chapter, in respect of that act before the doing thereof.

Section 245—Promise of bribe to Public Officer, etc. After act Done. If, after a public officer, juror, or voter has done any act as such officer, juror, or voter, any other person secretly agrees or offers to give to or procure for him or any other person any valuable consideration account of such act, the person so agreeing or offering shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, have been guilty of having, before the doing of such act, corrupted such public officer, juror, or voter, respect of such act.

Section 246—Explanation as to Oppression. A public officer or juror is guilty of wilful oppression in respect of the duties of his office if he wilfully commits any excess or abuse of his authority, to the injury of the public or of any person.

Section 247—Explanation as to Extortion. A public officer is guilty of extortion, who, under colour of his office, demands or obtains from any person, whether for purposes or for himself or any other person any money or valuable consideration which knows that he is not lawfully authorised to demand or obtain, or at a time at which he knows that he lawfully authorised to demand obtain the same.

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II influenced one Justice Paul K. Richardson of Kumasi Human Rights Court to dismiss a Kumawu case brought before him, subsequent upon which someone has placed the video evidence on YouTube. There was also an inventorying court injunction pending; without the determination of which by a competent judicial body, nobody could be enthroned as Kumawuhene on behest of Kumawuhemaa. However, Asantehene compelled the Kumawu kingmakers to flout that injunction to enthrone Dr Yaw Sarfo as Kumawuhene. Is he above the laws of Ghana? Can he breach the laws as and when he wants, by virtue of his position?

The wordings of the quoted laws are same as found without corrections, additions or omissions.

I shall quickly follow this up with quotations from other books to prove how neither Asantehene nor Asanteman chiefs have any power over Kumawu affairs.

Kumawuman people have spoken. They have elected the chief of their choice who is without blemish. Anyone who tries to intimidate him or the people shall live to regret the day that his or her mum conceived him or her.

You will hear from me on Sources radio UK online on Friday, 16 January 2015. I shall be in the studio of the radio station to grant an interview on the latest developments in Kumawu.

More grease to the elbows of the new chief, his elders, his supporters and all discerning Kumawuman citizens.

Rockson Adofo

Rockson Adofo
Rockson Adofo

The author has authored 1681 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author's column: RocksonAdofo

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Rockson Adofo and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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