Sunyani (B/A), Jan. 3, GNA - Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom, President of the Brong-Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, has appealed to legal practitioners, judges and magistrates to refer all chieftaincy cases to the House.
Okatakyie Kudom, Omanhene of the Nkoranza Traditional Area, made the appeal in a special radio/television programme organised by the Brong-Ahafo Regional Office of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in Sunyani.
He complained that most courts often set aside decisions taken by the Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the House and advocated a situation where the courts would allow chiefs to settle chieftaincy cases.
"The involvement of civil courts have brought about the long delays and mounting numbers of cases involving chiefs in some parts of the Region", he noted.
Okatakyie Kudom said there were 48 chieftaincy cases on his assumption of the Presidency of the Regional House last year, but the number had jumped to 53 as at the close of the year. He said chieftaincy cases at Berekum, Nsoatre, Nsawkaw, Wenchi, Mo and other areas in the Region were of great worry to his administration as well as the people as the disputes were retarding development.
Okatakyie Kudom said after a careful study of the problems he had inherited he realized that the inability of the House to settle the cases could not be blamed on the chiefs, but that some constitutional demands needed to be met in resolving such cases.
"For about four years now the Regional House has not had a substantive lawyer to handle such cases", he said but added that with the recruitment of a lawyer now most of the cases would be settled by the end of this year.
On education, Okatakyie Kudom expressed satisfaction that the Region was gradually warming itself into the limelight and cited the enviable achievements of some students in a number of second-cycle institutions in Brong Ahafo in the 2005 national educational competitions.
In the Independe nce Day national final essay competition, a student of the Sunyani Secondary School (SUSEC) came first while in the National Civic Education competition organised by National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), another student of the Saint James Secondary/Seminary in Sunyani took the first position.
A male student of SUSEC also made the Region proud in the National Science competition when he placed first and had been nominated by the Government to represent the nation in this year's International Olympic Games.
Kukuom Day Secondary/Technical School placed third in the National Cocoa Day competition and was mentioned in the President's New Year Message, while Mrs Doris Naana Marfo, an English tutor of SUSEC won the national best teacher award.