BY: Akpabli Daniel Yao/Gefia/VR
The Avenor Traditional Council has registered their displeasure on what they called interference in their matters by the Anlo Traditional council.
The growing tension between the Avenor Traditional Council and the Anlo Traditional Council on who has jurisdiction on matters of Chieftaincy and the boundaries that the two Traditional Councils have jurisdiction over was regarded as distasteful by the Avenor Traditional Council after a publication in The Spectator Newspaper published in the January 9, 2020 edition under the headline “Anlo Traditional Council Injuncts Korbadzi Stool At Gefia”.
In a press release which has been copied to the Minster for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, the Registrar of the National House of Chiefs and that of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs and others, the Avenor Traditional Council is calling on the Anlo Traditional Council to stay within its boundaries and stop breeding anarchy in Avenorland.
The statement said, the attention of the Avenor Traditional Council presided over by the revered and highly esteemed Togbe Dorglo Anumah VI has been drawn to a publication in The Spectator (Vol.No.1445, page 5) dated Saturday, the 9th day of January, 2021 on the subject describing it as malicious and malevolent.
“The Avenor Traditional Council states unequivocally and in no uncertain terms that the content of the publication is baseless, vexatious, unmeritorious and unserious and should be treated by all well-meaning Ghanaians with the utmost contempt that it deserves” it stated.
According to them, the publication is outrageous and very preposterous and least expected from the Judicial Committee of the Anlo Traditional Council.
“The reasons are not farfetched. The members of the Judicial Committee of the Anlo Traditional Council knows or ought to have known that the Korbadzi stool at Gefia under reference is in the Akatsi South Municipality of the Volta Region of the Republic of Ghana under Avenor Traditional Area with a paramountcy and a Traditional Council that has a clear and distinct boundary and jurisdiction in cause or matters affecting chieftaincy in its area”
They stated that, it is trite that no paramouncy or Traditional Council is subservient to the other and no Traditional Council has jurisdiction over the other. By law, practice and procedure, the Judicial Committee of the Anlo Traditional Council has no jurisdiction in cause or matter affecting chieftaincy in Avenor Traditional Area and vice versa. It is the Judicial Committee of the Avenor Traditional Council that is clothed with the exclusive jurisdiction so to do in Avenor. The Judicial Committee of the Anlo Traditional Council cannot act like an Octopus stretching its tentacles to grab jurisdiction in a matter they must know that they do not have jurisdiction.
For the Avenor Traditional council, the issue of whether or not the Anlo Traditional Council has jurisdiction over Avenor Traditional Council has since long been determined and settled by the High Court, Ho presided over by His Lordship Justice N.C.A Agbevor, Court of Appeal Judge sitting as an additional High Court Judge in the Matter of the Republic Vrs Nicholas Kofi Negble & 4 others, Ex-Parte Mama Sotorgbe Avlegede & 5 others, suit No. E 10/6/2018 where the same Judicial Committee of Anlo Traditional Area ostensibly grants an injunction over a chief in Tetemale in Avenor Traditional Area under Avenor Traditional Council wanting jurisdiction just as in the instant case. The Court with specific reference to the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 Act 759, the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and judicial authorities held that the inauguration of Avenor Traditional Council made the Avenor Traditional Council independent of Anlo Traditional Council. As such, the Judicial Committee of the Anlo Traditional Council has no jurisdiction in the Cause or matters affecting Chieftaincy in Avenor.
“It is, therefore, very absurd, bizarre and incongruous for the Judicial Committee of the Anlo Traditional Council to again disrespect the Avenor Traditional Council as by law established as well as the judgment of the High Court, the law and the judicial procedure and purport to have placed an injunction on Korbadzi Stool at Gefia within Avenor Traditional Area under Avenor Traditional Council which by law is independent of Anlo Traditional Council”
They also observed that, the injunction was pursuant to a petition erroneously filed before the Judicial Committee of the Anlo Traditional Council which lacks jurisdiction by Torgbui Kludzi III of Gefia, Zikpitor Simon Bedzra and Kennedy Kwami Kludzi against Torgbui Samlafo IV and others. We discern, recognize and detect that the action was brought in the alliance, cooperation and collaboration with Torgbui Samlafo IV who together with the petitioners must all know that they are in Avenor under Avenor Traditional Council which is independent of Anlo Traditional Council and must conduct and behave themselves as such. The unfortunate and ill-fated conduct at denigrating the Avenor Traditional Council by wrongly suing at Anlo Traditional Council is wrong and shall be treated with total disdain.
They asid, the Anlo Traditional Council lacks the requisite and mandatory jurisdictional capacity to determine any cause or matters affecting chieftaincy in Avenor inclusive of Gefia which falls squarely within the Avenor Traditional Area in accordance with Section 29(1) of the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759) which makes it clear that a Traditional Council has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine a cause or matter affecting chieftaincy within its area. As a result, it is only the Avenor Traditional Council that has sole and exclusive jurisdiction and prerogative to adjudicate any cause or matter affecting Chieftaincy in Avenor.
“Togbe Sri II, President of the Anlo Traditional Council, or any other member who might have presided at the meeting of the said Judicial committee, ought to have known that any action taken or orders made by the Anlo Traditional Council on any cause or matter affecting Chieftaincy arising from Avenor and Gefia for that matter is ipso facto void for wants of jurisdiction. It is illicit, illegal, unlawful and has no legal effect or consequence”.
The Council also noted that, Togbui Kludzi III, the suitor herein following the due process was suspended by Togbe Dorglo Anumah V, the then Paramount Chief of the Avenor Traditional Area and President of the Avenor Traditional Council in 2006 for gross misconduct and insubordination leading to his name being subsequently annulled, expunged and cancelled from the Chiefs list of the Avenor Traditional Council.
“The publication also mentioned Torgbui Samlafo IV, the first defendant as “Fiaga of Atsiame-Dukor”. A cursory check in the LI 2409, the new chieftaincy legislation that spells out traditional areas within the country or members of the various Regional Houses of Chiefs, can establish and attest to the fact that there is no such entity as “Atsiame-Dukor” and Anlo Traditional Council is expected to know of this. It is worthy to note that Togbui Samlafo IV and Togbui Kludzi III are persona non grata in the Avenor Traditional Council and Anlo Traditional Council must not be an outsider supporting them in any manner whatsoever calculated to undermine the peace and unity of the Avenor Traditional Council, nosedive and plunge it into conflict just like what happened at the Anlo a few years ago leading to loss of life and property”
They also noted that, It is so sad and depressed that the Anlo Traditional Council had astonishingly allowed itself to be used by some disgruntled members of Avenor as a conduit to foment trouble and disunity and promote conflict at Avenor at this critical moment of our nation-building where every effort are being made to position traditional institutions to promote peace unity, cohesion and development.
The Avenor Traditional Council however, serve notice to Anlo Traditional Council and Ghanaians that Togbui Korbadzi III is the Dufia of Gefia in Akatsi South Municipality in Avenor Traditional Area under Avenor Traditional Council adding that, he is a prominent member of the Avenor Traditional Council where he is accorded with all the privileges and rights deserving of the Korbadzi Stool hence any misguided attempt to disturb the peace, unity and tranquility of Avenor and to plunge it into conflict and derail its development is bound to fail since it shall be fiercely resisted by the chiefs and the good people of Avenor.
They therefore plead with the Anlo Traditional Council to respect the laws and leave Avenor alone in peace and unity.