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Befitting funeral for late Konongohene in view as Juabenhene softens stance

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PIX: Nana Batafo

The Royal Asona family of Konongo and the Konongo Sub-Traditional Council can now mourn and bury their dead chief in peace without any let or hindrance.
Controversy between the royal family and the Juabenhene had raged on since the demise of late Konongohene.
Nana Batafo died on January 15, 2022 at the age of 83 having occupied the Konongo Asona stool for 41 years.
He first swore the oath of allegiance as Konongohene to Nana Otuo Serebour II in 1981.
Nana Otuo Serebuor II, Juabenhene, presiding over a meeting of the Juaben Traditional Council at the Juaben Palace on Tuesday May 31, 2022, had allegedly  dealt a humiliating blow to the Asona Royal family of Konongo in the Asante Akim Central Municipality when he reportedly dissolved the Council of stool elders of the Konongo Sub-Traditional Council and relieved them of their traditional positions.
He is also said to have ordered  the Abusuapanin Nana Yaw Frimpong in consultation with an elder of the family, one Oppong Agyare to  liaise with the family of the late Konongohene to organise his funeral as an ordinary person and not as a chief or royal since he did not serve his overlord in his lifetime as Konongohene.
The late Konongohene was not to be accorded a royal burial as, according to the Juabenhene he (Konongohene) had not
acted or functioned in the capacity as a chief the past 30 years.
As a result, Nana Obrane Frimpong, Twafohene of Konongo and Kwame Atta Kakra, a member of the royal Asona family and a nephew of the late chief petitioned the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs against Otuo Serebuor II, Juabenhene, Nana Oppong Agyare and Mr. Kwabena
Dapaah Gyasi as respondents.
The petition, filed on October 17, 2022 by Augustine Opoku, Esq of Dwumfuor and Dwumfuor Chambers on behalf of the applicants contended that the installation of Dr. Awuah (the fourth respondent) on August 22, 2022 at Juaben in Ashanti is a nullity and wrong.
The petitioners sought eight reliefs including a declaration that the rights of the applicants to be heard was breached and that the May 31, 2022 meeting at Juaben presided over by the Juabenhene Nana Otuo Serebuor was not the appropriate legal forum to determine matters affecting status of chiefs in the Juaben Traditional Council under the 1992 Constitution and the Chieftaincy Act.
Other reliefs or remedies  sought by the applicants  are a declaration that no  person has the jurisdiction  and authority to
make destoolment charges  against a deceased  chief  who was never charged or tired in his lifetime; a declaration that the purported destoolment  of the late Konongohene and his sub-chiefs is null and void and of no legal  and customary effect.
The applicants are also sought an order setting  aside the unlawful act of the declaration  of destoolment of the  deceased Nana Batafo Acheampong Nti II and his  sub chiefs and the consequential orders.
They also want the Judicial Committee to prohibit the respondents and their agents from usurping the traditional functions of the Konongo sub-chiefs and interfering with the burial and funeral rites of the late chief and a further order to restrain the Juabenhene from interfering with the funeral celebrations of the late Konongohene.
Nana Obrane Frimpong, Twafohene of Konongo and Kwame Atta Kakra also
sought a declaration that without the involvement of the Konongo kingmakers, the nomination and installation of the fourth respondent as the chief of Konongo is a nullity and that a proper process has to be restarted.
The applicants per their 10-page petition argued that the Judicial Committee of the Juaben Traditional Council properly constituted is the only appropriate legal body to hear, adjudicate  and determine matters affecting chieftaincy within  the Juaben Council and the 1992 constitution and the Chieftaincy Act and Regulations and not a chief sitting in his palace.
They argued that the Juabenhene could therefore not destool posthumously a recognized  and gazetted chief who reigned from May 1981 to January 15, 2022 and should be accorded  all the royal rites and protocols as a late chief.
But Nana Otuo Serebour, first respondent, in response to the petition, as filed by K. A. Asante-Krobea Esq. Of Asante-Krobea, Sekyere and Associates of Kumasi on behalf of the respondents, said he has not destooled any chief of Konongo stressing that he has neither enstooled nor destooled any chief at Konongo.
He also stated that he had not destooled the late Konongohene 30 years ago as claimed except that the late Konongohene did not recognise him as the overlord all these 30 years.
The Juabenhene further explained that he did not customarily know the sub chiefs who called at his palace on May 31, 2022 in the company of the Omanhene of Bekwai to plead with him to accord royal courtesies for the burial and funeral of the late Konongohene.
Nana Otuo Serebuor also stated that since the late Konongohene did not recognise him (Juabenhene), he could not be part of any arrangements for his burial and funeral celebrations.
With regards to the purported installation of the fourth respondent as the chief of Konongo under the stool name of Nana Dr. Awuah Abedimsa II on August 22, 2022, the petitioners sought orders of the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs to nullify the said installation.
They asked for the process for nomination and installation to be restarted because the installation of Dr. Awuah on August 22, 2022 as Konongohene is not customary.
They claimed without the involvement of Konongo kingmakers the nomination and installation of Dr. Awuah, the fourth defendant as chief of Konongo is a nullity.
But the Juabenhene responded stating that Nana Dr. Awuah Abedimsa II has been customarily and lawfully enstooled as the chief of Konongo in accordance with Akan custom and nuances for making a chief.
The respondents have, therefore stated that the petition in question, as it relates to the Juabenhene, is incompetent.



BY Kow Richardson 


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