The storm is over for the Asona clan of Atimatim Besease, as it emerges victorious after the 40-year-old litigation, as to which clan owns the Odikro stool of Atimatim Besease, has finally been determined.
After years of litigation amid adjournments and delays in trial, the dispute between the Asona clan and that Oyoko, which started in 1981, has ended in a rather strange way.
The litigation, as to whether the Odikro stool of Atimatim Beasease belongs to the Asona clan or the Oyoko clan started in 1981 and travelled through the Kumasi Traditional Council, the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs to the National House of Chiefs.
On August 27, 2020 the five-member Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs chaired by Kumbun Na Yiri, unanimously upheld an appeal by the appellant Asona party and thus reversed the majority judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs of January 28, 1999 and thereby affirmed the majority judgment of the trial Judicial Committee of the Kumasi Traditional Council of March 14, 1994.
The verdict of the Kumbun Na Yiri Committee was based on the findings of the trial Judical Committee of the Kumasi Traditional Council, which was found to be relative to the majority judgement of the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs.
The Committee also arrived at its verdict by considering whether or not the findings by the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs were supported by the evidence on record and whether they (Committee) could interfere with such findings.
It referred to the evidence that Kwasi Kom and Kofi Badu as ancestors from the Asona clan who had occupied the Beasease Odikro stool and bemoaned why the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs believed that only the Oyoko clan was eligible to the Besease stool and that Kwasi Kom and Kofi Badu from Asona clan ascended the stool by default.
The committee also baffled at Dadiesoaba hene’s inability to establish or prove while testifying as a witness that the Besease stool belonged to one particular family or the other even though he (Dadiesoaba hene) was the overlord of Besease.
Based on these, the Committee affirmed that there was no good reason to disturb or interfere with the findings of the trial Judicial Committee of the Kumasi Traditional Council and the majority judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, which were supported by evidence and consequently upheld the appeal by the Asona appellant side.
When the National House of Chiefs gave its judgment, the Oyoko side indicated their willingness to appeal against the ruling but failed to prosecute their intention till after a whole year when the case was called for their appeal to be made, only to rescind their intention to contest the National House of Chiefs judgment.
The respondents representing the Oyoko clan per their Counsel decided to withdraw the notice of appeal against the judgement.
Counsel for Respondents, Dennis Oppong Wiafe, for Silas Kwaku Yeboah, told Nananom panel members on November 11, 2021 that they were withdrawing their intention to appeal against the judgment and that they were content with the ruling and prayed for leave to withdraw the said application of September 22, 2020 for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
A reconstituted panel of five-member Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs headed by NaaDikomwineDomalae has since granted leave to the respondent Oyoko party to withdraw the motion and consequently struck out Suit No. NHC.2/AS/2000 as withdrawn thus establishing that the Odikro stool of AtimatimBesease belongs to the Asona clan.
Other members of the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs included Odeefo Afankwa III Okogyeaman Kwaku Gyamprah III, Pe Ditundini Ayagitam III and Daasebre KwebuEwusi VII.