Nii Tetteh Kwei II and five others, describing themselves as kingmakers of the Ga Traditional Council, have dragged 17 people, including Mr George Adama Tackie, a claimant to the Ga Stool, and the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Okoe Vanderpuije, to the High Court in their bid to place an embargo on the celebration of the Homowo Festival tomorrow.
The applicants are pleading with the High Court to restrain the respondents from engaging in traditional rituals until the National House of Chiefs (NHC) has disposed of a petition challenging the legitimacy of Mr Tackie as the Ga Mantse.
Hearing of the application has been slated for August 18, 2015, but counsel for the respondents, Mr William Adumua-Bossman, is challenging the locus of the applicants.
The applicants in the case are Nii Tetteh Kwei II, Nii Tetteh Ashong IV, Nii Agyemankese II, Nii Akropong IV, Nii Amui Degraft Quaye and Nii Teiko Abonua IV, all of Swalaba.
The respondents are Mr Tackie, Nii Yaote Oto-Ga II, Nii Okai Mensah V, Daniel Tackie (also known as Mind the Dog), Nii Yaya Addy, Ebenezer Mensah Lartey, Nii Armah Supley Ammah, David Tackie Komey and Mr Thomas Okai (Nii Ayi Bonte).
The rest are Nii Dodoo Nsaki II, Nii Ayikai III, Numo Ogbamey III, Numo Akwa Mensah III, Ms Mercy Asante, Mr Vanderpuije, Mr Ago Tackie Komey and Mr Anyah Yartey.
A statement of case filed on behalf of the applicants by The Law Consult, a legal firm, is asking the court to stop the respondents and their agents “from sprinkling kpokpoi at Ga Mashie or pouring libation at Ga Mashie and the Abola Stool House or entering the Stool House at Abola or holding meetings or conferences at the Ga Traditional Council during the Homowo Festival period until the final determination of the substantive suit”.
Kpokpoi is a traditional food prepared with maize and normally consumed with palm nut soup.
The substantive case has to do with a petition before the NHC which is asking the court to pronounce on who the legitimate Ga Mantse is.
Affidavit in support
An affidavit in support of the motion for injunction deposed on behalf of the other applicants by the Head of the Abola Piam Royal Ruling House and Head of the Akropong Division, Nii Akropong IV, noted that the respondents were planning to go ahead and celebrate the Homowo Festival, despite the pendency of the petition.
It said the intended acts of the defendants/respondents would not only undermine the authority of the court but also cause chaos and likely result in bloody clashes between factions.
It also prayed the court to not allow the defendants to take the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the Ga State for granted, “since there is no doubt among reasonable law-abiding natives of Ga that there is simmering tension over who is the lawful Ga Mantse”.
Describing the applicants as legitimate kingmakers of the Ga Stool, the affidavit noted that the applicants did not want Accra to experience a bloodbath after the June 3, 2015 flood disaster and for that reason the court should maintain the status quo until the matter was resolved.
Affidavit in opposition
The affidavit in opposition noted, among other issues, that the applicants did not have the capacity to institute the application for injunction.
According to the respondents, the application was misconceived because Mr Tackie’s name and particulars as Ga Mantse and successor to the late Boni Nii Amugi II had already been entered by the NHC in the National Register of Chiefs pursuant to Section 59 of the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759).
It said the applicants’ motion was misconceived procedurally because the intended induction of Mr Tackie into the membership of the Ga Traditional Council could only be carried out by Mr Okai, Nii Nsaki II, Nii Ayikai III, Numo Ogbamey III and Numo Mensah III and not the other respondents listed in the application for injunction.
Touching on the attachment of Mr Vanderpuije to the motion, the affidavit in opposition said that was wrong because he was not a party to any faction.
Describing the applicants as a “miserable minority” of the Ga Paramount Stool Dzaase or kingmakers numbering an average of at least 10 per cent each of four ruling houses, the affidavit said “such minority has no right of action herein as alleged or at all”.
It also denied claims that the respondents had planned to take actions to disturb the peace and accordingly prayed the court to dismiss the application for injunction.