Okuapeman Stool Affairs: Bribery At Play

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The Okuapeman Stool affairs have exposed traditional authorities and certain persons in government from the area as people who believe in brute force and bribery.

The search for a successor to the late Oseadeeyo Nana Addo Dankwa III, who was noted for his peaceful nature, has now turned to be a total mess for the respected Okuapeman Stool.

State-sponsored security arrangements and bribery of key figures were at play in the moves to have Odehye Kwadwo Kesse installed as the Okuapemhene.

Events after the decision of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs’ annulling the enstoolment of Odehye Kwasi Akuffo as the Okuapemhene last week would have sparked a huge commotion at Akropong, but for the level-headedness of some of the parties within the Sakyeabea Royal Family.

After state security forces were used in all the activities involving the moves to have Odeheye Kwadwo Kesse as the Okuapemhene, with those heavily involved going contrary to protocols being observed in the midst of the dreaded COVID-19, some prominent chiefs have been reportedly fingered in a bribery scandal.

Some of the chiefs involved in the grimy game who, just last week, had vowed not to be part of the illegal process suddenly made u-turns and were heavily involved in the steps to enstool Odehye Kwadwo Kesse.

The Inquisitor, without any fear of contradiction, has it that some state officials from the Akuapem area were deep in the bribery of the chiefs who have soiled themselves in the messy Okuapeman Stool affairs.

So cluttered are the moves to have Odehye Kwadwo Kesse enstooled that there are fears that Akropong, the traditional headquarters of Akuapem, will explode in the coming days.

The state apparatuses, mindful of the ramifications of their actions, have stationed some Police, Military and National Security operatives at Akropong for the past days.

The traditional headquarters of Akwapim, Akropong, is likely to explode following machinations to install and enstool a paramount chief for the area.

There is tension in the area and government’s long hands are in the dirty pie in the area which hitherto was very peaceful.

So grubby are the moves by the government and certain top officials from the area that the youth in the coming days are likely to resist attempts to enstool one of the parties in the chieftaincy litigation.

There is heavy security presence at Akropong and there are indicators that the security forces are supporting one faction in the matter.

Events at Akropong got to a crescendo last Thursday, when the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs nullified the enstoolment of Odehye Kwasi Akufo as the Okuapemhene.

Per the ruling of the House of Chiefs, the Sakyeabea Royal Family should restart the processes of getting the new paramount chief.

However, with the support of state apparatus, the customary rites to have Odehye Kwadwo Kesse enstooled as the new Okuapemhene have been covertly resumed against what the House of Chiefs said.

The Okuapemhene Stool has remained vacant for almost five years after the demise of Oseadeeyo Nana Addo Dankwa III due to disputes emanating from the Sakyeabea Royal Family, whose turn it was to nominate someone to occupy the stool.

The Okuapeman Stool has three ruling houses -Nketia, Amogyaa and Sakyeabea.

Two factions emerged from the Sakyeabea Royal Family with each claiming to be the rightful candidate to succeed the late paramount chief, who ruled peacefully for 41 years.

After the House of Chiefs’ ruling, the security forces, under the instruction of some heavyweights in government, defied the ban on public gathering because of the COVID-19 pandemic and guarded the installation of Odehye Kwadwo Kesse.

Social distancing was not observed at the illegal gathering and there are fears that the deadly bug would spread in the area soon.

What is intriguing is the fact that basic customary practices that go with such important exercise were thrown to the dogs.

The Okuapeman Palace is presently under lock and key and guarded by fully-armed Military and Police personnel.

The Inquisitor is reliably informed of stockpiles of arms within the Akropong township and its surrounding areas.

Security agencies were in 1993 overwhelmed with the kind of arms that were used in a land tussle between the people of Akropong and Abirew.

Traditionally, the Okuapemhene must be confined in ‘Banmu’ by the Banmuhene who would later send him to the Asonahene as part of the processes to have a legitimate paramount chief.

On this occasion because the processes have been circumvented, the Asonahene, The Inquisitor is informed, has decided not to be part of the illegitimate processes.

Meanwhile, the other faction of the Sakyeabea Royal Family has filed an appeal to challenge the ruling of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs on the Okuapeman Stool matters.

The appeal filed at the National House of Chiefs, among other things, is seeking that the judgment and costs should be set aside and judgment entered in favour of the Okuapemhemaa and three others who were respondents in the matter and now appellants in the appeal.