A Kumasi High Court, presided over by Justice Kofi Akrowiah,says Nana Amporfo Baffour II, Chief of Asem in the Ashanti Region, did not give Nana Fosuhene hearing in invoking Power of Attorney conferred on him to exercise authority in the name of the Stool as the Kyidomhene.
Amporfo Baffour II appointed Nana Fosuhene as the Kyidomhene of Asem Stool Lands to pre-finance legal battles to be fought in the interest of the Stool.
The court, in a judgment dated January 30, 2023, stated that the claims underpinning the revocation of the Power of Attorney were unfounded, particularly, Nana AmporfoBaffour II’s counter-claim that Nana Fosuhene used his name to perpetuate gargantuan fraud and extortion of monies in the traditional area.
Nana AmporfoBaffour II (defendant) counter-claimed in a suit brought against him by Nana Fosuhene(plaintiff) that the latter perpetuated fraud by taking advantage of his ill-health to forge his signature, and collected various sums of money from occupants on the land.
The defendant further claimed that Nana Fosuhene fraudulently used his name to sue the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, and connived and conspired with one Gifty Owusu, as well as Hansen Kwadwo Kodua Esq., in pursuit of his fraud.
Similarly, Nana Fosuhene (plaintiff) engaged the services of Lawyer Kwasi Afrifa without his knowledge to threaten one Benjamin that he would be cited for contempt.
Again, the defendant added that the plaintiff fraudulently and mischievously used the Stool name to caused one Iddrisu Hashim to put up a three-storey building with a market value of GH¢10,000,000.00 for his (plaintiff) son.
However, the court, in its judgment, dismissed the counter-claim for lack of proof and upheld the reliefs of the plaintiffs in part that an order for the defendant to pay an amount of GH¢2.4 million as expenses incurred pursuing the defendant’s cases in court.
The plaintiff prayed that the court should order the defendant to pay 40% of the proceeds of sale of any portion of land that he successfully claimed through litigation, and claim for interest on GH¢2.4 million.
His Lordship Akrowiah ordered the defendant to pay GH¢1,030,000.00 as cost, refund, and compensation.
The crux of the case
Nana Fosuhene instigated the suit against the defendant on October 4, 2018, saying, on December 2014, Nana AmporfoBaffour II entered into an agreement with the plaintiff to pre-finance the legal and other requisite land issues pertaining to portions of the Asem Stool Lands.
He said the Stool land in question shares boundaries with DominaseStool land, AmakromStool land and ‘A’Life Super Market.
According to the plaintiff, he fought a legal battle with the Ghana Railway Development Authority for encroaching upon the defendant’s stool land, particularly at Adumand taking over substantial portion of it.
The plaintiff explained that the defendant engaged him in order to reclaim those lands, by which he (defendant) conferred his Power of Attorney on him to take legal action against the Railway Authority and other encroachers, as well as pre-finance same.
He said the agreement was explicit that after the conclusion of each case, the defendant shall refund all monies spent towards the prosecution of the cases to the plaintiff.Again, the plaintiff shall be entitled to 40% of the proceeds of sale of any land to any person.
In respect of this, the plaintiff also engaged high profile and renowned lawyers to prosecute the cases.
The court was told that some of the case travelled from the Circuit, High Court to the Supreme Court.
The plaintiff further added that he spent huge sums of money at both the Lands Commission and Town and Country Planning for the rezoning and layout of the disputed land occupied by the Railway Authority.
The court heard that the plaintiff, in the course of fighting the defendant’s legal battles, had his lawyers issuing a writ for US$16,000.00 for balance of legal fee against him.
The plaintiff,in response to the defendant’s counter-claims, said that the defendant stated that he engaged lawyer Afrifa at the instance of the defendant.
In this regard, the court said: “It is noteworthy that the plaintiff called Akwasi Afrifa as a witness, and the defendant could have taken the opportunity to cross-examine him on the issue… And the defendant failed to cross-examine him.”
The court further held that the defendant revoked the Power of Attorney after the plaintiff had incurred the said expenses.
The court explained that the plaintiff’s reliefs were granted in part because the GH¢2.4 million cost of expenses incurred was not sufficiently justified.