Dr Joe Blankson has opened his defence in the longstanding Ga Paramount Stool dispute pending before the Judicial Committee of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs at Dodowa in which a number of people are challenging his purported installation as Ga Mantse.
On Friday, when the committee resumed hearing, the first defence witness Nii Kwei Ashalley Agbafiotse from Bortianor told the panel that Dr Blankson was rightly nominated and installed as Ga Mantse.
Willie Amarfio, lead counsel for Dr Blankson who led the witness in evidence announced that he was the only one they intended “to bring the matter to a close.”
According to Nii Ashalley, who spoke through an interpreter, there are only three ruling houses in Ga Mashie, namely; Tackie Kome We, Amugi We and Teiko Tsuru We.
Explaining the process for the installation of a Ga Mantse, Nii Ashalley said his traditional cloth; representing the mantle of his authority is sent to the ruling house whose turn it is to ascend the throne.
He said the head of that family is informed by the stool elders about the passing away of the Ga Mantse and requested to nominate a candidate from that house to replace him.
In the case of Dr Blankson, he said he was chosen by the head of Teiko Tsuru We, because the family of his predecessor, Nii Amugi, sent the cloth to Teiko Tsuru We after his death in December, 2004.
Witness said when Dr Blankson was nominated by his family head, two others, whose names he did not mention, also announced the claim to the stool.
Therefore, he said a vetting committee, of which he was a member, was set up to select one person among the three claimants.
After the vetting process, Dr Blankson was declared as the most qualified for the position.
Nii Ashalley said he could not recall the contests of the committee’s report nor the exact date for its work because it happened five years ago.
He could also not identify a document showed to him by Mr Amarfio, which is said to be a copy of the committee’s report, saying he is illiterate.
Touching on the authority of Nii Owula Kpakpa Blofonyo, Asare Akwashongtse and Ga State Akwashong Mantse, (Chief Warrior), who filed the main suit against Dr Blankson Nii Ashalley said the office of the Akwashong Mantse, does not exist.
He said the office was abolished since the colonial era and, therefore, Nii Blofonyo had no capacity to sue.
He agreed to a suggestion by counsel that because the office of Akwashongtse is not recognised, there was no need for him to be involved in the installation of Dr Blankson.
The four petitions before the committee challenging the nomination and installation of Dr Blankson as the Ga Mantse have been consolidated into a single suit.
Nii Owula Blofonyo filed the petition on April 4, 2006, against Dr Blankson seeking a declaration that his purported installation as Ga Mantse in March 2006 is contrary to Ga custom, and therefore, be null and void.
Joined in that suit are; Nii Akropong III, Head of Teiko Tsuru We and Nuumo Tette, Ga Wulomo (Chief Priest), now deceased.
Source: The Ghanaian Times