Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday July 27, 2010
An Accra Fast Track High Court has stated that it cannot order for the deletion of the name of Nii Kojo Ababio V, the chief of Ngleshie-Alata James Town British Accra, from the National House of Chiefs register.
The court, presided over by Justice Edward A. Asante, noted that it cannot declare that James Town Mantse Nii Kojo Ababio V is not a chief and the High Court has no jurisdiction to make such declarations and awarded GH¢3, 000.00 for NII Ababio V against the plaintiffs.
The suit was filed against the National House of Chiefs and Nii Ababio V by Ezekiel Quarmina Allotey Coffie Nii Sackey Akumiah VI, Nii Laryea Lamptey, Joshua Attoh-Quarshie and Charles Heward-Mills, who in the suit said they were Manste, heads and principal elders respectively of some of the divisions of the James Town British Accra.
The plaintiffs instituted the court action seeking a declaration that the registration of Nii Ababio’s name and his particulars thereof in the register of chiefs “is fraudulent and/or based on false information and therefore same ought to be expunged.”
They also sought another order to set aside the registration of Nii Ababio’s name and his particulars thereof in the register for wrongful registration and another order directed at the National House of Chiefs to expunge Nii Ababio’s name and his particulars from the register.
In their submission, the plaintiffs contended that the National House of Chief “fraudulently” and “falsely” published in the Local Government Bulletin No. 16 of Friday, August 10, 1990 that Nii Kojo Ababio V was enstooled as Ngleshie-Alata James Town Manste on July 6, 1978 and had therefore registered his name in or about February 15, 1984.
The plaintiffs said the House of Chiefs had given the impression that Nii Ababio “is a chief whereas in actual fact he is not a chief.”
They further contended that there is no substantive chief for Ngleshie-Alata James Town British Accra since Nii Adja Kwao II was distooled, stressing that his various appeals were dismissed in 1983.
Responding, the defendants denied the plaintiff’s claim and revealed that Nii Ababio V is the substantive chief who hailed from the appropriate family and lineage.
Nii Ababio V argued that “he was validly nominated, elected, enstooled and installed as James Town (Ngleshie-Alata) Mantse on July 6, 1978 in accordance with the requisite customary law and usage of James Town.
He told the court that Nii Kwao II was an imposter and so he litigated him and got him removed from office after which he was installed according to custom, stressing that his registration by the House of Chiefs was proper.
Nii Ababio V also noted that the issue in contention was a chieftaincy one and the trial court had no jurisdiction over the matter, citing the Chieftaincy Act to support his argument.
The court then ruled that “on all the evidence therefore, I uphold the defendant’s prayer and dismiss the plaintiff’s entire action as a cause or matter affecting chieftaincy.”