Asantehene Recounts How A Court Ruling On A Chieftaincy Dispute Defied Tradition

The King of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has urged the judiciary to give some level of regard to customs and traditions in the adjudication of legal disputes across the country after recollecting one ruling by the arm of government which failed to put an end to a protracted misunderstanding.

Affirming the importance of the judiciary especially lawyers to any country, he indicated that the same role is played by traditional rulers, however, distinctly from that of the judiciary which bases purely on the law.

He recalled inheriting a dispute upon his assumption of the Golden Stool where two clans had been ruled as occupants of a stool- a ruling that defied the tradition and culture of the Kingdom, he stated.

“Traditional rulers play their role {in conflict resolution} and we do it according to custom and tradition. When I ascended the throne, I realized there was one stool on which a court ruling declared both Aduana and Agona occupants.

“But {traditionally} each stool is occupied by only one clan. Lawyers took this case to court to get this ruling. And because of that misunderstanding reigned among the two clans over the years.”

He said he called both clans, investigated and settled the dispute amicably based on tradition.

He added, “Over here we rule by customs and traditions but at your side, it is the law.”

In forestalling future recurrence, His Majesty suggested, lawyers can learn from their mode of administering justice by attending some of his sittings.

“Some lawyers can come and witness how we settle our disputes anytime we sit. It will be a form of education.”

Otumfuo made this statement when the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) joined the Awukudae on July 5, 2023, to pay homage and inform him about their plans towards his 25th anniversary next year.

They were led by the National President of the Association, Lawyer Yaw Boafo.

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