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Book no lie, your intent to exclude New Juaben from ERHC is proven – Oti Boateng fires back at Okyehene

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The Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Professor Emeritus Oti Boateng has replied to a rejoinder by Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, the Omanhene of Akyem and the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs over his recent protestations against what he has described as an attempt to exclude the New Juaben Area from the ERHC.

According to the Omanhene of New Juaben, there is documentary evidence to prove that Okyehene in his capacity as the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, had sought to exclude the New Juaben Traditional Area from the proposed ERHC despite a last-minute inclusion advocated by the leadership of the National House of Chiefs when it received the LI.

“New Juaben Divisional Chiefs were conspicuously missing from the list submitted by the leadership of ERHC to the National House of Chiefs. In the face of this documentary evidence, how can any legal luminary or other persons however styled, argue to the contrary? How can anyone attempt a cover-up in the face of this overwhelming evidence? This exemplifies the popular parlance that “Book No Lie”.

“The evidence above formed the genesis of New Juaben protestations. This protestation ended, with appropriate public announcement, when the New Juaben Traditional Council received communication from the National House of Chiefs and the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs that our concerns had been adequately addressed to promote harmony and understanding in the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs. The curiosity of New Juaben exclusion from the list also prompted the National House of Chiefs to make a conference call to the Omanhene of New Juaben in London who responded that he was not privy to the submission”.

“….Notwithstanding the last-minute inclusion of New Juaben in the LI alluded to in Okyenhene’s rejoinder, the intent by the leadership of the ERHC to exclude New Juaben has been established beyond every reasonable doubt by authentic documentary evidence. This intent is proven with an almost sure probability. The statement issued through your lawyers is nothing more than a monumental attempt to cover-up the truth,” portions the response states.

Responding to other issues raised by the Okyehene including the allegation that he received allowance payments despite not attending meetings of the ERHC in a long while, the Omanhene of New Juaben said “all Paramount Chiefs enjoy standard legitimate allowance to which I am entitled. It is false for Okyenhene to state that I collect sitting allowance which is only paid for attending meetings. For several years between 2000 and 2011, Okyenhene never attended any meeting of the House yet he collected his standard allowance. The records are there to show. So what is the motive behind bringing this pointless and hugely tangential issue into the debate under consideration?”

The Omanhene of New Juaben also said the use of the number of towns in a traditional area as a basis for the numbers allotted to each traditional council of the ERHC in the proposed LI, which will see the Akyem Traditional Council hold the highest number of representatives deviates from established global normal of equal representation.

“The Eastern Regional House of Chiefs is based on paramountcies rather than on the number of towns and villages which does not appear anywhere in the Chieftaincy Act. In all international organizations, each country, large or small, has one representation. Thus, in the United Nations, China has one representation while Togo and Benin also have one representation each. Here in Ghana, our constitution gives each region, large or small, one representation each on the Council of State and five representatives each at the National House of Chiefs. So why should Eastern Regional House of Chiefs deviate from the established global normal of equal representation?”

Daasebre Oti Boateng, however, stated that the matter which has been dragged for while now should be given a decent burial in order to preserve the sanctity of the chieftaincy institution as the Chieftaincy Ministry has also intervened in the matter.

Read Daasebre Oti Boateng’s full response below:

20th August 2020

THE PRESIDENT

EASTERN REGIONAL HOUSE OF CHIEFS

KOFORIDUA

<b

I have decided to respond to your undated rejoinder for the purpose of setting the records straight and to allow the public to make a better judgement with the authentic facts.

It is beyond per adventure that at the time that Daasebre Oti Boateng unleashed his protestation, New Juaben was distinctively excluded from the re-constituted Eastern Regional House of Chiefs (ERHC). This statement is supported by documentary evidence. In a letter dated 28th May 2020 from the ERHC to the National House of Chiefs (NHC) captioned “RE: SUBMISSION OF REVISED DRAFT CHIEFTAINCY (MEMBERSHIP OF REGIONAL HOUSE OF CHIEFS) INSTRUMENT, 2019”, Okyenhene submitted names of sixteen (16) Divisional Chiefs from Akyem Abuakwa Paramountcy while between three (3) and seven (7) Divisional Chiefs were allocated to other Paramountcies as follows: Kwahu, seven (7); Boso Gua, three (3); Akyem Bosome, four (4); Manya Krobo, four (4); Yilo Krobo, four (4); Akuapem, five (5); Akwamu, (4); Anum, three (3) and Akyem Kotoku, four (4). New Juaben Paramountcy was completely excluded from the revised composition as per the submission above from the ERHC leadership to the NHC. The relevant portion of the letter to buttress the sixteen (16) names from Akyem Abuakwa reads as follows; “Sixteen (16) Divisional Chiefs from Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council shall be selected by the President of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council in consultation with the Traditional Council for a four-year term”. New Juaben Divisional Chiefs were conspicuously missing from the list submitted by the leadership of ERHC to the National House of Chiefs. In the face of this documentary evidence, how can any legal luminary or other persons however styled, argue to the contrary? How can anyone attempt a cover-up in the face of this overwhelming evidence? This exemplifies the popular parlance that “Book No Lie”.

The evidence above formed the genesis of New Juaben protestations. This protestation ended, with appropriate public announcement, when the New Juaben Traditional Council received communication from the National House of Chiefs and the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs that our concerns had been adequately addressed to promote harmony and understanding in the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs. The curiosity of New Juaben exclusion from the list also prompted the National House of Chiefs to make a conference call to the Omanhene of New Juaben in London who responded that he was not privy to the submission.

Modification of ERHC Submission by National House of Chiefs

The National House of Chiefs modified the submission of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs by granting half of its original request. By this process, the original submission of sixteen (16) Divisional Chiefs from Akyem Abuakwa was reduced to eight (8). The House also decided to request the New Juaben Paramountcy, which was conspicuously excluded from the original list submitted by the ERHC, to bring its submission for consideration.

The last-minute inclusion of New Juaben in the new LI, therefore, originated from the National House of Chiefs and not from the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs as Okyenhene’s rejoinder seems to imply. The argument which seeks to use the inclusion of New Juaben in the new LI to justify a claim that Okyenhene initiated the process is completely false and does not relate to the facts on the ground. It is clearly an attempt to cover-up for the unpardonable exclusion of New Juaben from the beginning.

Indeed, Okyenhene did not conceal his apparent displeasure in the rejoinder when he described the decision of the National House of Chiefs to grant the New Juaben Traditional Area the right to nominate six (6) Divisional Chiefs as inequitable. This gives additional proof that the inclusion of New Juaben in the New LI did not originate from Okyenhene.

Notwithstanding the last-minute inclusion of New Juaben in the LI alluded to in Okyenhene’s rejoinder, the intent by the leadership of the ERHC to exclude New Juaben has been established beyond every reasonable doubt by authentic documentary evidence. This intent is proven with an almost sure probability. The statement issued through your lawyers is nothing more than a monumental attempt to cover-up the truth.

I fervently and zealously stand by my letter of 14th July 2020 and would again emphasise that, had it not been the prudent last-minute intervention by the National House leadership aided by our ancestral spirits, New Juaben Divisional Chiefs would have been perpetually disenfranchised from the proposed composition of ERHC.

Allowance

All Paramount Chiefs enjoy standard legitimate allowance to which I am entitled. It is false for Okyenhene to state that I collect sitting allowance which is only paid for attending meetings. For several years between 2000 and 2011, Okyenhene never attended any meeting of the House yet he collected his standard allowance. The records are there to show. So what is the motive behind bringing this pointless and hugely tangential issue into the debate under consideration?

Allegation of Communication Between ERHC Leadership and Omanhene of New Juaben on the Issue.

On this issue, the leadership of ERHC under Okyenhene has made two contradictory statements: first, at the National House of Chiefs where the leadership is reported to have stated before all the Paramount Chiefs that the Registrar of the ERHC was sent to see the Omanhene of New Juaben in his house, and second, in Okyenhene’s rejoinder which states that the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs paid a courtesy call on the Omanhene at which the issue was discussed. It is important for Okyenhene to come clear with which of these contradictory statements he stands by to permit an exhaustive response to be made on this critical matter. The salient question to raise here is, why did Okyenhene fail to do any follow-up on the issue with the Omanhene of New Juaben after the alleged mission, as any leader with a degree of empathy is expected to do? Things could have been different and a lot better if the leadership of the ERHC had acted differently by interacting directly with the Omanhene of New Juaben. This remarkable refusal or failure by Okyenhene in this vital process speaks volumes.

Representation

The Eastern Regional House of Chiefs is based on paramountcies rather than on number of towns and villages which does not appear anywhere in the Chieftaincy Act. In all international organizations each country, large or small, has one representation. Thus in the United Nations, China has one representation while Togo and Benin also have one representation each. Here in Ghana, our constitution gives each region, large or small, one representation each on the Council of State and five representatives each at the National House of Chiefs. So why should Eastern Regional House of Chiefs deviate from the established global normal of equal representation?

Be that as it may, this matter should be given a decent burial in order to preserve the sanctity of the Chieftaincy institution. We have a common goal to carry the Chieftaincy institution to the next level.

Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng

Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area

Cc: The President, National House of Chiefs, Kumasi

The Chief Justice, Supreme Court Building, Accra

The Speaker, Parliament House, Accra</b

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