14 December 2012

Ghana: Four Western Chiefs Sue Elected Execs

Four paramount chiefs of the Western Regional House of Chiefs have filed a motion for judicial review at the Sekondi High court against some chiefs elected as executive members of the House.

They are seeking the court to declare the newly elected executive members of the House null and void, saying the House did not form a quorum to conduct the election, as majority of the members were not present.

The four paramount chiefs who filed the writ include Awulae Agyefi Kwame II, Omanhene of Nsein, Owulae Angama Tu-Agyan II, Omanhene of Gwira, Awulae Annor Adjaye III, Omanhene of Western Nzema and Ogyahohuo Yaw Gyebi, Omanhene of Sefwi Anhwianso.

They are challenging the elections conducted on Monday December 3, 2012, to elect Osagyefo Kwamina Enimil VI, Omanhene of Wassa Fiase Traditional and Nana Kwesi Agyemang IX, Omanhene of Lower Dixcove as president and vice president of the House respectively.

Other elected executives were Owulae Attibrukusu III, Omanhene of Lower Axim, Osaberima Kwaw Entsie II, Omanhene of Mpohor and Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III, Omanhene of Eastern Nzema as representatives of the House at the National House of Chiefs.

Addressing a press conference in Takoradi on Wednesday, Awulae Agyefi Kwame II, Omanhene of Nsein, and the other chiefs said they were challenging the validity of the election as it did not reflect the concerns of all chiefs in the House.

According to the applicants, the organizers of the elections contravened the provisions in the Chieftaincy Act 2008, (Act 759), Section "B" as well as Article five and six of the Standing Orders of the House.

The Act spells out rules for the conduct of elections of officers into the Regional House and National House of Chiefs.

Awulae Agyefi Kwame said the convener of the meeting for the said elections, Shadrach Hagan, the Deputy Registrar of the House, did not have the mandate to invite members of the House to a meeting since the substantive registrar was still at post.

Besides, the notice of the said meeting was improper because the notice should have been issued 21 clear days before the meeting and opposed to the three day's notice issued to few members of the House, he maintained.

Moreover, the members present at the said meeting were only six who did not form a quorum to elect officers since the Western Regional House of Chiefs comprised 22 paramount chiefs, he added.

Owulae Agyefi Kwame noted that already there was a motion pending at the Supreme Court restraining Osagyefo Kwamina Enimil VI, Omanhene of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area, who was elected as the president of the House at the said meeting from holding himself as a member of the House.

He contended, therefore, that the holding of the elections in the circumstances stated was unlawful and rendered the whole proceedings null and void.

The applicants prayed the court to compel the Western Regional House of Chiefs and the Electoral Commission to organize a meeting to conduct fresh elections to choose new executives for the Regional House as well as its representatives at the National House of Chiefs

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