Kingmakers of Akuapem have initiated customary rites to install a new Akuapemhene amidst heavy security.
This was after Abrewatia of the Sakyibea royal family presented one Odehye Kwadwo Kesse to the kingmakers as the chosen candidate from the ruling gate.
A brief customary rite was observed to announce to the people of Akuapem that Odehye Kwadwo Kesse has been chosen as Akuapemhene.
Odehye Kwadwo Kesse was then handed over to the Baamuhene for confinement.
The installation comes shortly after the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs nullified the installation of one Odehye Kwasi Akuffu as the Akuapemhene and directed that, he cannot hold himself as same.
The three-member Judicial Committee chaired by the paramount chief of Manya Krobo Nene Sackitey ll held that the queen mother of Akuapem is not clothed with the powers to select and install an Odehye from a royal family according to the customs of the land.
The Committee also held that the Abrewatia of the Sakyibea family whose turn it is to produce an Odehye to be installed as Akuapemhene has the sole responsibility to select and present a candidate to the Asonahene for onward presentation to the queen mother and subsequently installed as a chief.
The Judicial Committee, however, directed that the Abrewatia of Sakyibea family, madam Lilly Agyemang produces a candidate and follow customary rites for the installation of an Akuapemhene.
The Akuapem manhene stool became vacant some five years ago following the demise of the Oseadeyo Addo Dankwa.
The Abrewatia of the Sakyibea royal family Madam Lilly petitioned the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs against four persons namely; the queen mother of Akuapem Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo ll, Asonahene of Akuapem Nana Kwasi Omenako ll, the Twafohene of Akropong Nanakromansa Amoah ll and Odehye Kwasi Akuffu I, II, III and IV respondent respectively for breaching Akuapem customary rites and installing an Akuapemhene illegally.
The petitioner prayed the court to
i. make a declaration that per the customs and tradition of the people of Akuapem, verified by statute it is the Abrewatia as opposed to the queen mother of Akuapem who has the sole prerogative to nominate a successor to the stool from a royal gate.
ii. An order that the purported nomination of fourth respondent Odehye Kwasi Akuffu as Akuapemhene by the first, second and third respondent is contrary to law and, therefore, illegal.
iii. An order restraining the Odehye Kwasi Akuffu from holding himself out as chief of Akuapem
iv. An order that customs and tradition should be followed in the nomination of the next successor to the vacant paramount stool of Akuapem.
The Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs granted the relief by the petitioner and awarded a cost ¢25,000 against the queen mother of Akuapem and the respondent.
The committee directed that, the right customary process should be followed for the installation of a new Akuapemhene.
Security was very tight at the Regional House of Chiefs and in Akropong to maintain order.
Meanwhile, lawyers for the queen mother Ansah Asare have hinted of his intention to file an appeal.
Akropong is relatively peaceful.